The Top 5 Adventure Companies Of The Year – 2023

with 23 Comments

If you prefer to be away from the crowds, on the move and getting your adrenaline pumping when you are travelling, then look no further… Whilst there is an extensive choice of companies that offer multi-day experiences to summit mountains, climb on glaciers and jump out of planes, so many of them aren’t quite as great as they seem. Many are overpriced, over crowded by numerous other large groups and have hidden extras (this is the bit that annoys me the most).

Every year we update and reflect on experiences with companies, research and ask our readers for their opinions too. In this article below, we have weighed up each of these points and chosen our top 5.

Whilst these have been chosen based on their reputations in travel groups and from my time backpacking and working seasons (you soon learn who the less desirable companies are to travel with); I have had first hand experience with each of the companies (and many others which didn’t make the list or close).

I love these companies for the quality of what they offer, the value for money, the transparency on what they do and do not offer and some unbelievable activities in the best destinations. If you are looking to book an adventure trip then check these out and let us know what you think.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products and companies I use (most links are not affiliates) and the small income goes to keeping the site running.

The Best Adventure Travel Companies

1.) Much Better Adventures

(up 2 places from position 3 for 2022 and 2021)

This first company I really love have such a cool range of adventure offers. Their range of adventures tends to be a little off the beaten path, with a few classics thrown in for good measure. From diving in Gozo and hiking Mont Blanc to sailing the Arctic Circle. Once you have booked a trip with them they will send you through exclusive offers for others.

The stand out for this company is the fact they have so many trips that make use of long weekends. Each trip has multiple date offers and plenty of budget-friendly trips. I would love to see more operators having the annual leave calculator next to each trip (this is also found next to the physical rating).

It might seem like an obvious thing to work out but when your annual leave is limited and you‘ve got itchy feet like me, it’s easy to lose track of the days you’ve already taken.

One of the best things about this company is that they pair up with local guides to create their bespoke packages.

Our Experiences with Much Better Adventures

We have been on 2 trips with them already and plan to book another. We did their Kayaking, Hiking and Wild Camping in the Norwegian Fjords for my birthday in May 2022 which was fantastic. The company they partnered with and the guides were fantastic. Every last detail was thought of. Considering we were wild camping along the fjords, the guide had prepared fantastic meals to be cooked on the fire and catered for dietary preferences and requirements.

Kayaking, Hiking and Camping Nærøyfjord, Norway

We also went on their Ice Climbing, Saunas and Auroura Hunting Trip to Lapland in February 2022. I did a few seperate articles for this one, due to the sheer amount of amaxing experiences we had during our weekend with MBA.

Snow Shoeing in Pyhä-Luosto, Lapland

Ice Climbing at the Tajukangas Ice Fall in Pyha-Luosto National Park, Lapland

Hiking and Ice Climbing at Korouoma Canyon in Posio, Lapland

This trip absolutely blew us away and exceeded any expectation we could have had. Every element of the trip was thought of and the guides did everything to ensure it was magical. We got to see the northern lights 2 out of the 3 nights and learned how to take pictures of them. In addition to snow shoeing and ice climbing, we got to try out a traditional sauna experience on our final night. We dined by the lakeside and then went in a sauna with the group before walking across the snow covered pier and dipping into the ice cold lake. We highly reccomend it.

We know not everyone would be interested in the Ice Climbing but they may still want to visit the area of Pyha or Korouma and do some of the other activities, so we felt seperate posts made more sense.

We loved every second of both trips and everyone we spoke to on the trips had experience with other MBA trips (all with high praise).

If you want to get a discount on your first trip using this code ASO-ZLB-00 at your check out you will receive a 5% discount from their trips, Check them out here. Once you have had a trip with them you will also receive a discount code for yourself family and friends.

2.) Mapo Tapo

(New to the list for 2023)

Rock Climbing and Ski Mountaineering holidays with the fantastic Mapo Tapo

Mapo Tapo is a relatively new company that specialises in climbing and ski mountaineering trips. Their customer service is absolutely fantastic and i’m excited to see their range of activities and trips grow. One of the key things I love about them is that they focussed on providing a small range of offers and doing them really well, before expanding to others. They have great partnerships in local areas with local guides and they know their actitivies well. With the founders being climbers and skiers, they specifically designed each trip to provide unique opportunities in stunning areas around the world, whilst being coached to improve your skills (not just participate, going through the motions).

They also have an online community like Much better adventures. The big difference is that the founders are in the group, regularly communicating with their customers about what they want. They also have amazing partnerships with well known high quality brands where they offer raffles and run campaigns to fundraise to protect and support the crags and local areas being used.

I am booked on to their Sicily by the Sea and Weekend in Liguira trips this year. Next year I hope to do their climbing training camp and one of their ski mountaineering trips.

Check out what they offer here.

3.) G adventures

(down 1 places from number #1 for 2022 and #2)

This third company have been around for about 30 years. I had always heard people raving on about their fantastic customer service, value for money, last-minute deals and just really amazing packages. A great benefit of using this company is the fact they do not charge a single supplement. I went on a short trip with them 8 years ago which they don’t offer anymore but it was really amazing.

Travellers I have met during my time backpacking and working seasons all recommend them as their go-to for ‘big trips’. As I mentioned before travellers talk. One of my friends I met backpacking in NZ has been on 5 trips with them already and is saving for her next one. I asked her to provide us with an honest write up of one of her recent trips with them in Nepal – click here to read. or check out what else they have to offer on their website here.

As I mentioned they have a fantastic reputation for their customer service, great guides and their range of the ‘bucket list’ adventures.

Update: We have just booked another trip with them to do the W Trek in Pategonia, Chile. We cannot wait. I will update this post when we do the trip and do a full honest review.

4.) Inversion Travel

(down 3 places from #2 for 2022 and #1 for 2021)

First for this list is Inversion Travel. This is a small independent company ran by two amazing guides who have years of experience around the world, leading expeditions and small group travel. They set up their business a few years ago with an aim to offer amazing adventure experiences with fantastic service off the beaten track. Their trips have small group sizes are very unique in their offerings and they also work with local guides to deliver their trips.

Our Experiences with Inversion Travel

We have been on two trips with them:

I honestly cannot rate this company high enough and have written articles already about the amazing trips above and their service. Both of the owners of this company are passionate and experienced guides. They offer a small range of experiences but to the highest quality and take care of every detail from pick up to drop off at the airport.

They also offer heli-skiing in Japan, climbing Elbrus in Russia and much more. Check out their websitewe will definitely be booking with them again.

I also make a point of observing how companies, guides and operators treat other guests (not just myself) when I’m on trips and their service was amazing. They truly made each trip special for all of their customers and focussed on adding value to each experience for those on the trip every step of the way.

They also offer tailoured trips for individuals or groups… you can enquire with them directly about them.

5.) Manawa

(New to the list for 2023)

Manawa is quite a new company, similar to the more well known Get Your Guide or Viator, they do offer more day experiences than multi-day ones, however this is growing.

Travel with Manawa for adventure travel experiences

Some of the reasons why Manawa beat Get Your Guide and Viator to this top 5 list was because:

• I found their customer service is better if you have any issues,

• They specialise and focus on outdoor / adventure activities,

• They link with reputable local guides (Get your guides and Viator do link with local guides, however they don’t often hold those accountable that are doing so poorly, Manawa expect and hold their providers to a high standard).

• You are able to find everything including paragliding, quad biking, climbing, guided hikes, kayaking and scuba diving.

Click here to check out what they offer. More and more expert local guides and providers are signing up to offer their services or use this as their main booking system.

Other Adventure Travel Companies / Bookings that almost made the List

As I mentioned these companies/operators have been chosen based on the following: Independent reviews, my experience and observations during them, the customer service, quality of whats on offer, value for money and their ethos.

There are other companies that I have experience with that are also great and came close in this including the close runners up.

  • Intrepid Travel (previously #5 in 2021)
  • Explore-Share (previously #4 in 2022)
  • Get Your Guide (not yet made the list due to lack of specific adventure specific offers, but highly reccomend for general bookings)
  • Viator (not yet made the list due to lack of specific adventure specific offers, but highly reccomend for general bookings)

Others were considered and previous ones who weren’t close in the running removed

Pin For Later

As I mentioned these companies/operators have been chosen based on the following: Independent reviews, my experience and observations during them, the customer service, quality of whats on offer, value for money and their ethos.

There are other companies that I have experience with that are also great and came close in this including the close runners up.

  • Intrepid Travel
  • Explore-Share
  • Expedia

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Owner of Travels and Wandering | Lecturer by Day, Nomad at Heart Adventure Travel Tester | Outdoor Instructor | Mountaineering and Outdoors Researcher | Strength and Conditioning Coach | Yoga Instructor | Personal Trainer | Fitness Pro | Endo Warrior, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Spoonie

23 Responses

  1. Puloma Bhattacharya

    These top listed adventure travel companies are great with wonderful offers in each niche. Yes I totally agree that any travel agency should be transparent on what they offer or not and have value for money. And it’s also great that some of them are attached to local guides which is a great help for tourists.Customer service is important for a travel agency to cater to the needs of the tourists and it’s great that these companies offer tailored trips as well.

  2. Agnes

    You have experienced extraordinary adventures with professional travel companies. It’s great that you have made a list of companies you recommend for cooperation because these are often expensive trips. Choosing a trusted, experienced operator is worth it so as not to regret the money spent. Much Better Adventures seems perfect, as I dream about kayaking and wild camping in the Norwegian Fjords. I’m also impressed by your ice climbing in the Spanish Pyrenees adventure. I want to do this with Inversion Travel.

  3. Linda

    We sure do love to find adventure when we travel. But we have not yet looked at booking through an agency the specializes in designing adventure trips. I love the variety of different experiences that are offered. And how many you have real experience with. That personal input is worth a lot! Customer service would be a high criteria for us – especially companies large or small that can deal with issues.

  4. Maria Veloso

    For those who want to take a trip this year, this post couldn’t be more relevant. It can be difficult to choose a good travel agency given the abundance of options, but I believe these five of your suggestions are first-rate. This will be saved in my favorites for later use. Many thanks for sharing.

  5. Ambica Gulati

    You are right. The right people and the right places make the trip. It’s important to know where you are putting your resources. Not many people or operators can offer an immersive experience, so it’s good have recoomendations and lists like yours.

  6. Subhashish Roy

    I have been a Viator fan for many years with most adventure trips booked through them. And I truly love their mix of professionalism, range on offer and reliability when it comes to the quality of tours. However these options look interesting to look at probably when planning for our next trip. I would certainly check out Much Better Adventures as they seem to have improved their ranking which is a good sign for anyone trying them out the first time.

  7. Angela

    I have never used an adventure company before, but I imagine they are fantastic if you want to be part of a group and need a guide if the location you visit is maybe off the grid. I have heard of G Adventures; they seem to advertise everywhere, but the others are new to me.

  8. Natascha

    Great recommendations of adventure travel companies around the world. I have hear many good things about G-Adventures and Much Better Adventures. I can see that some people prefer to let someone else handle all the planning and the gear. Personally, I prefer going independently.

  9. Bhusha

    Good that Much Better Adventures provides with activities across the globe. Wish I had known them when I visited Malta & Gozo. Kayaking, Hiking and Wild Camping in the Norwegian Fjords sounds awesome. That’s something I’d love to do as well. Iceclimbing, not so much! One of my friends is very much into mountaineering. I should find if he already knows about Mapo Tapo. Inversion Travel sounds impressive. I always love small, independent companies that give a personal feel to its guests.

  10. Ramya

    I am total adventure traveler this list will come handy to me while making travel choices. I liked the G Adventures and also ice climbing will be another thing of immense interest for me, I’ll have a nosey at Much Better Adventures.

  11. Aradhana

    That’s a great list of places that offer adventure travel while taking care of their travellers needs. I would be game to hop on the tour in south America with G adventures, take me along haha! Looks like you have had some amazing adventures so far.

  12. Joseph Benson

    wow, these companies you’ve listed offer some amazing experiences!
    Speaking from experience, I know that it is really important to book with a company that you can trust and for that I find great value in.

    This post of yours to help people find the trustworthy companies who offer such wonderful experiences. Thanks for sharing and updating the list for 2022. I have been holding off and waiting for upto date reccoemdations after the impact of covid.

  13. Kirsten W

    I haven’t heard of these companies but they all sound great! Sometimes it really is better to just let someone else do the planning. Thanks for introducing me to them, I need to save this post and check back next year too.

  14. Planet Hopper Girl

    Great post. This is really helpful, specially for traveler bloggers like me, I’m always on the look out for independent travel/adventure providers. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Abigail Reagan

    Great recommendations! I’ve been living vicariously with travel right now 🙁 but so excited to get back out in the world!

  16. Melissa

    Great recommendations! It can be difficult and time consuming planning a trip and going on something like these adventure trips can be the perfect way to take away some of the stress and enjoy the experience. I do love planning and experiencing a destination on my own, but sometimes it is nice to do something like these and be more worry free. 

  17. Krista

    I’ve only heard about G Adventures before, so thank you for putting the other on my radar now! 😆 And I love that you have experience with these and are considering more than just the number of trips like other do. And glad you look beyond the price point only (although that does factor in, if I want to do something adventurous I’ll save up), some other blogs list them but don’t factor in what you get for that money.

  18. Katie

    I haven’t used any of these but my brother was a tour guide for G Adventures for years and it was a great company to work for – lots of opportunities. I keep seeing Much Better Adventures pop up on social media ads, but hadn’t heard from anyone who had used them until now.

  19. Sue

    I have been on a few trips with G Adventures over the last few years & all have been excellent. Peru, Galapagos Islands & Costa Rica involved local guides which really makes the trip feel more authentic & gives you a chance to really get an understanding of the culture. I don’t have experience with the other companies you mention but they sound amazing so will check them out.

  20. Tayo

    I love MBA been on trips with them twice with a third planned but cancelled this year. I like their ethos & that they partner with local companies. Not heard about Inversion or Mapo Tapo you mentioned so being an adventure traveller I will check them out!

  21. Chisaree

    Your next trip with G adventures will be AMAZING! Let us know how it goes, i’ve heard great things about them but have never toured with them before. Will keep an eye out for your more recent experience with them as a company. I will need to look into Much better adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Nicole Anderson

    These days, so many of us are really busy and time poor. Not everyone has access to large blocks of leave to take at leisure so the options you have highlighted here are great examples to maximize your vacation time. So much better selecting adventure companies based on this sort of review with real life examples, rather than blindly selecting based on a cool looking website. Thanks for the recommendations.

  23. Agnes

    I like your recommendations. Taking advantage of such offers is more convenient for the overworked and those who have little time. And an organized trip is the only way to get to unique places sometimes, without the worry.

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