Assistant Editor’s Note: The ATTA is proud to note that thirty-five of the fifty winners are Members. We have highlighted them in blue below. Congratulations to them all!
Washington, D.C. — Track butterflies and whales in Mexico. Run the Inca Trail in Peru. Circumnavigate the globe by freighter. Take the kids to Turkey. Cycle Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These are just some of the 50 guided tours selected by National Geographic Traveler in its eighth annual “Tours of a Lifetime” list featured in the magazine’s May 2013 issue. Look for it in print, on digital tablets, and on the web (live April 11 ). On social channels, look for #besttours @natgeotraveler.
The editorial team combed the world to find the most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours. “This year marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The tours we selected capture that spirit of exploration,” says executive editor Norie Quintos. “They push the bounds of mainstream tourism, whether taking travelers to the far corners of the globe, or helping them dive deep into the culture of familiar destinations.”
The 50 Tours of a Lifetime include:
- A volunteer trip in the Amazon jungle with G Adventures, where you’ll live with a Quichua family and participate in a shaman healing ceremony.
- A two-wheeled tour through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with Adventure Cycling Association; you’ll carry your gear but stay in cozy inns in waterside villages.
- Game viewing and volunteering in Namibia with Biosphere Expeditions. You may help collar a big cat and participate in other research duties.
- Ride Icelandic horses through the meadows, sandy beaches, and lava fields of Iceland with Adventure Women.
And of course, here’s one from our own National Geographic family: An epic, 38-day cruise down the eastern coastline of South America, accompanied by world-renowned experts, with National Geographic Expeditions, part of the yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society.
For a complete list of tours and outfitters, visit our website after April 12 here.
Tours of a Lifetime 2013:
- Hidden Places Travel: “100 Miles for Elephants,” Kenya
- Global Sojourns: “Safari, Culture, and Philanthropy in Southern Africa,” South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
- Biosphere Expeditions: “A Game of Cats and Elephants,” Namibia
- Access Trips: “Morocco Desert Surf Safari,” Morocco
- Africa Adventure Consultants: “In Livingstone’s Footsteps: The Final Journey,” Tanzania
- Sanctuary Retreats: “Nile Adventurer,” Egypt
- Journeys by Design: “Trekking to Surma, Ethiopia,” Ethiopia
- Wildland Adventures: “Bedouin Trek to Petra,” Jordan
- Big Five Tours and Expeditions: “Caravans of the Bedu,” Oman
- Wild Frontiers: “Silk Road Odyssey,” Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
- SeaTrek Sailing Adventures: “Ternate-Halmahera-Morotai-Raja Ampat-Sorong,” Indonesia
- Northwest Rafting Company: “European Body, Asian Soul: Chuya and Bashkaus River Expedition in Russia,” Russia
- One World Trekking: “Everest Base Camp 60th Anniversary Trek,” Nepal
- Mountain Travel Sobek: “Journey of Discovery in Timor-Leste,” Timor-Leste
- Myths and Mountains: “Untamed Cambodia,” Cambodia
- Nomadic Expeditions: “Across Mongolian Plains,” Mongolia
- Immersion Journeys: “East India: Temple Mythology and Mountain Peaks,” India
- WildChina: “Gastronomic Tour of China,” China
- Cox and Kings: “Dream Trip—Burma and Bhutan,” Myanmar and Bhutan
- Oxalis Adventures: “Nakasendo Trail,” Japan
- Academic Arrangements Abroad: “Sicily by Sea: Art Treasures and Ancient Temples,” Malta and Italy
- Adventure Women: “Horseback Riding in Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice,” Iceland
- Butterfield and Robinson: “Tuscany Biking,” Italy
- Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland: “Wild Irish Rover,” Ireland
- The Wayfarers: “Vienna to Prague,” Austria and Czech Republic
- Greenloons: “Swedish Timber Raft Adventure,” Sweden
- ROW Adventures: “Peaks of the Balkans: Peace Park Hike,” Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro
- Exeter International: “Treasures of the Crimea, Ukraine,” Ukraine
- Thomson Family Adventures: “Wonders of Turkey: A Smithsonian Family Adventure,” Turkey
- Ciclismo Classico: “Bike Across France,” France
- Polar Explorers: “Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia Island,” South Georgia Island
- Wilderness Travel: “In the Wake of the Bounty: Easter Island to Tahiti aboard the M.S. Caledonian Sky,” Chile, French Polynesia
- Active New Zealand: “Kauri,” New Zealand
- Timberline Tours: “Columbia River Gorge,” Oregon
- Restore Hetch Hetchy: “Muir’s March, Yosemite National Park,” California
- Arctic Odysseys/Alaskan Ventures: “Alaska’s Twin Lakes: In the Footsteps of Dick Proenneke,” Alaska
- Zegrahm Expeditions: “Wild Alaska and the Bering Sea,” Alaska
- Freewheeling Adventures: “Viking Bike and Hike,” Canada
- Adventure Cycling Association: “Great Lakes, Inn-to-Inn,” Michigan
- Journey Mexico: “Magical Mexican Migrations—Pacific Whales and Highland Butterflies,” Mexico
- Arawak Expeditions: “Sea Kayaking in the Virgin Islands,” British Virgin Islands
- Maris Freighter Cruises: “Short Around-the-World Cruise,” U.S., Canada (plus Malaysia, China, South Korea, and Japan)
- Ancon Expeditions of Panama: “Camino Real Trek,” Panama
- Andes Adventures: “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Running Adventure,” Peru
- Santiago Adventures: “Bikes, Wine and Patagonia,” Chile
- Country Walkers: “Brazil: Royal Route, Salvador, and Chapada Diamantina,” Brazil
- International Expeditions: “Nicaragua: Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” Nicaragua
- G Adventures: “Ecuador Jungle Local Living,” Ecuador
- National Geographic Adventures: “Belize: Reefs, Rain Forests, and Ruins,” Belize
- National Geographic Expeditions: “Epic South America,” Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina