While I’m all about independent travel, some of the world’s most enticing far flung lands are best explored on a group tour. You see, some parts of the world require deep local connections to really get to know them, and if you’re short on time, organizing logistics in remote areas can be time consuming. Or perhaps you’re simply not keen to go alone? Whatever your reasons, I’m here to help guide you in choosing an adventure tour company you can trust to provide an amazing experience.

I used to run an adventure tour company myself, so I’m well aware that many tour operators are well, shit. There are still some gems out there though and I’m proud to vouch for the ones I’ve included in this post.

In an era where group tours are often overpriced and provide mediocre experiences at best, these 6 are doing the opposite: they’re crafting incredible, small group adventures to some of the most unique places on the planet and pricing them fairly.

Read on to find out all you need to know to get an expedition brewing with one of the best adventure tour companies on the planet:

Quick Overview: The Best Adventure Tour Companies

Why THESE Adventure Tour Companies?

A group of people standing in a valley in Pakistan with huge snow covered mountains behind them
Back when I used to lead adventure tours to Pakistan.

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These featured companies not only do some fan-freaking-tastic trips, but they do it right – by supporting local communities, reducing their environmental impact, and giving back when they can.

All while managing the logistics of some seriously insane itineraries…

6 BEST Adventure Tour Companies

Epic experiences incoming when you book with these guys…

#1 Inertia Network

a woman standing on a rock overlooking a super bright sea in Socotra

Inertia’s epic motto is “We take you off the beaten path in places that are already off the beaten path” -and WOW. Holy fucking shit amigos, Inertia’s itineraries are truly epic.

Founded in 2017 by three friends from Vancouver, Canada, Inertia is the market leader when it comes to truly unique expeditionary style travel.

No doubt my top pick for the very best adventure tour company on the market today, these guys are experts at crafting epic expeditions that locals actually benefit from. More than 80% of their trip costs go to local guides, which is virtually unheard of.

They also regularly donate to charity funds through the Inertia Network Foundation, a non-profit entity.

But now let me entice you with their trips – because they are bloody awesome. They have two types of experiences – curated expeditions and micro trips that cap group size at just 6. These are all the unique adventures that Inertia currently has lined up for the next 12 months:

#2 Intrepid Travel

One of the biggest names in the adventure tourism industry, Intrepid goes everywhere … they literally have more than 1000 epic offerings all over the globe!

What sets Intrepid apart from other large tour companies is they’re actually committed to responsible travel – like seriously. We’re talking certified B-corp status and a very impressive streak of carbon neutrality since 2010, guys! They’re really “about” the sustainability life.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid always partners with local guides (which should be the norm, but isn’t always in the field) and ensures super professional and authentic experiences. They’re been in the game for 30+ years at this point, and they offer trips on every single continent, with way too many to list here.

Another aspect of their operations that really impressed me is the fact that they have different “types” of trips: Basix, Original and Comfort depending on the type of travel style you’re after.

#3 Untamed Borders

Founded in 2008, Untamed Borders stays true to its name and creates trips that take you to some seriously raw and wild destinations. These are some seriously off the beaten path expeditions, from trekking in the bucket list Wakhan Corridor to visiting Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

trekkers hiking on an adventure tour in the wakhan corridor with Untamed Borders

But what really makes this adventure travel company stand out to me is that they don’t just do regular tours – they’re known for revolving entire trips around some truly unique events.

For example you can:

  • Run a marathon in Iraqi Kurdistan, Somaliland, Somalia or Saudi Arabia
  • Go skiing in Afghanistan
  • Experience the Nowruz festival with locals

These small group trips dial in on cultural immersion – which is why they still have such stellar reviews after nearly 20 years in the industry. Aside from fixed-date departures, I love how Untamed Borders are professionals at organizing custom, DIY trips involving just about any adventure activity you can think of.

#4 Lost With Purpose Women’s Tours

girl in a yellow jacket riding a motorcycle in a lush green meadow with snowcapped peaks in the background

My beloved adventure crush, the one and only Alex Reynolds started travelling the world full-time in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since, all whilst providing pristine and honest solo female travel advice on her blog Lost With Purpose. She’s backpacked the real India alone, ridden her motorbike throughout Federal Iraq found a second home in Pakistan where she now runs some seriously incredible women’s tours.

Pakistan is far from the easiest place to travel solo as a woman, but Alex’s expeditions make it easy. She runs numerous tours around Pakistan each year, in partnership with Aneeqa Ali, a Pakistani woman who owns her own tour company in the country.

A jack of all trades, Alex soon mastered the art of motorbiking in Pakistan and has now added a few annual motorbike tours open to anyone who can ride.

#5 Against the Compass Expeditions

A man stands on a rock in Pakistan with mountains and glaciers behind him

Joan Torres quit his corporate job back in 2016 to travel the world and start his travel blog, Against the Compass. He soon found himself exploring some of the world’s least visited locales, and with time, his blog replaced his income.

Eventually, Joan again took a leap into the unknown by starting Against The Compass Expeditions, which now runs dozens of (full) trips every year to places like Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria. What makes Against the Compass Expeditions my pick for the best new adventure travel company in the game is that he’s actually backpacked every single one of these countries himself, leading to unparalleled local connections and experiences.

This isn’t the type of tour company that’s going to shuffle you around and house you in fancy luxury hotels – these are authentic, immersive experiences that are aptly better described as expeditions rather than tours.

A professional through and through, Joan’s tours are for people who don’t DO tours.

Here are just a few of his destinations:

  • Afghanistan
  • Syria
  • Pakistan
  • Libya
  • Yemen

#6 Intentional Detours Hunza Valley Tours

I met Samantha while motorbiking around the surreal mountains of Hunza Valley a few years ago. She’s lived in the region since then and has since met her husband who’s a native. Samantha has trekked and traveled nearly every corner of Pakistan and knows Hunza and its surroundings better than any traveller I know.

While many other tours of Pakistan involve multiple regions, Intentional Detours trips really focus on the mountains and their communities. They ensure that all vendors, from drivers to local guides to restaurants and hotels are locally owned by people from Hunza or other parts of Gilgit Baltistan, making this one of the most sustainable adventures on this list.

Aside from the tours listed, Samantha can also hook you up with a private or DIY tour, and arrange everything with her local partners for high-altitude treks.

Getting Insured BEFORE Starting Your Tour

Getting yourself some good travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for any adventure.

FAQS About Top Adventure Tour Companies

A few commonly asked questions about adventure tours…

Ready for an Adventure Tour?

Regardless of which one of these companies you go with – you can rest assured that you’re in for an epic experience. Want to visit a remote island like Socotra? Take a cultural tour in Iraq? Swim with whale sharks in Polynesia?

You can have your pick among it all – and have the opportunity to meet like-minded, ambitious travellers like yourself.

If you’re not sure which trip to pick, you can’t go wrong with something offered by Inertia 😉

A small group of people walking through a rocky valley with massive mountains on either side and massive snow covered peaks in the distance
Wild and pristine landscapes do await.

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