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Top Trip Memories

  • Standing on the rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, gaping at the magnitude of it all, then mounting a mule to ride to the canyon floor.
  • Cruising the Mississippi on a riverboat down to New Orleans, then feasting on crawfish and oysters.
  • Walking “no hands” around the roof of the 1,168-foot-high CN Tower in Toronto (though safely strapped on).
  • Paddling the waves during a whitewater rafting expedition on Idaho’s Snake River.
  • Practicing French while sipping wine at a café in Old Quebec, Canada.
  • Waiting faithfully for Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, to erupt (it always does).
  • Touring Northern California’s coastal redwoods (the tallest trees on earth) and central California’s sequoias (the most massive living things).
  • Viewing the Mayan pyramids in Chichen Itza and Tulum on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
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Tour Tips

  • To keep your tour manageable, think regionally: the Northwestern or Southwestern U.S., the Canadian Maritimes, Canadian Rockies, etc.
  • U.S. national parks are some of the finest in the world and a good place to keep tour prices down, especially if you like camping.
  • The U.S. is much more than Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Times Square and Disney World; be sure to see more it it than those..
  • While most of its citizens live near the U.S. border, Canada is the world’s second largest country, with vast wilderness, mountain and coastal areas awaiting exploration.
  • Greenland, one of the least visited islands in the world, is part of North America, too – and has a fascinating Arctic culture and landscape.
  • Mexico is far more diverse than you might imagine: think Mayan culture vs. modern-day Mexico City, Oaxacan marketplaces vs. Cancun party scene.
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North America Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5

99%

recommend

1,761 Reviews

  • Excellent 1,333
  • Great 437
  • Average 11
  • Disappointing 5
  • Terrible 4

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.7
  • Activities
    4.7
  • Lodging
    4.7
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.7

Tour Reviews

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A brilliant trip, with chance to see huge amounts of the stunning British Columbia Landscapes and lots of wildlife. We were very lucky with the weather, a great group, a top tour leader and wildlife that wanted to show off all of the time.
So many to choose from. A humpback whale breaching on the way back from seeing 18 bears racing through the emerald green waters of the Orford river catching salmon, to a grey whale who came within 5 metres of the zodiac (too close for some :-) or the Black Bears turning over rocks on the shoreline and a cub up the tree, or the first pod of Orcas, or the Deer swimming between Islands in fairly rough seas, or the fish and chips at Dicks fish and chips in Campbell river, or the Sea Otters, or the Salmon BBQ on the beach, with whales just off the coast, or the laughs with the group, or the rapids and whirlpools in the Bute Inlet.... or many many more

Top Class. Mac was chilled out, good fun and found the right balance on food for the group.. Granted, it’s a limited number I’ve experienced, but he’s presently the best Salmon Barbeque Chef in Canada. He was also on the ball in organising extra trips and experiences, and ensuring you could fit as much in as you wanted to do.

There is lots packed in at times, BUT there’s also a fair amount of free time. I was there for the wildlife, so managed to get out on 2 extra whale watching trips in Tofino, 1 long trip in Campbell River and even 1 in Victoria (although this was much more commercial and touristy than Tofino or Campbell River). Be decisive though, especially in Tofino. The weather changes it’s mind more often than you could imagine, if there’s a nice gap in the weather get out and do something - anything, you will have plenty of options, be it Whale Watching, Surfing, Kayaking, Sea Plane Flight, Hot Springs or anything else.
In Campbell river the extra Whale Watching Tour is worth doing - it was the first time we saw Orcas, and we got to see lots of the different currents and inlets.
Victoria is a lovely place, the nicest city - well worth getting up early to maximise time there.
I went to take photographs, and a few tips in that space 1) The bears at Orford River can be a good way away. If you’re taking photos, you’re likely to need for some shots at least 600mm reach (I took 300mm with 2* extender). Although, we also had plenty of opportunities to photograph with a 70-200mm. When we went, the light was very bright, so ensure you take lens hoods and any filters you want. For those not photographing, good binoculars are a must. For those taking camera gear a good dry bag (at least 30 litres) is very useful for out on the zodiacs, as are a couple of towels.
We had a group of 8, which was a very nice number for the bus. It allowed space for bags and to spread out a bit. With more people in, it could have got a bit tight.
Hotels in Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Tofino are functional, but all had dark rooms, good beds and powerful showers - so suited my needs perfectly. Painters Lodge / April Point are more luxurious and very nice.

Book the trip, it’s amazing. So much to see, so much wildlife, so much first nations history and influence - just another great exodus trip.

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Whales & Bears of British Colombia

Whales & Bears of British Columbia (2017)

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
What an absolutely fantastic wildlife experience. Can you imagine how wonderful it is to witness, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, diving and blowing and Orca (Killer) Whales. To watch a pod of Orcas breaching, a acrobatic performance which would win a Gold medal in any ones games.To stand and watch wild bears feasting on huge Salmon, oblivious to us viewing. (Well, most of the time!!). This is a wildlife and photographic trip not to be missed. You can add, sightings of Bald Eagles, the list is almost endless.
For me, watching the pod of Orcas performing, Tail slapping the water, followed by a giant leaps out of the water. Closely followed by the majestic performance of the Humpback Whales, Blowing, Diving, followed by the famous Tail lift as it submerges, only to rise again. Tremendous photo opportunities. These are things that you don't forget.

Our group leader "Mac". Mac was also our driver. Felt very safe during the sometimes long drives. A good organiser and full of information. Nothing was too much trouble for him. A great cook, we had several Bar-B. Q's and he delivered good cuisine in great settings.

September is at the end of summer, so it can be quite cold, wet and foggy. So be prepared for the elements. "Dress" in layers, with a waterproof handy.

If taking pictures with a "phone" is your thing, fine. But you have an opportunity to get great pictures, a good camera with a tele- zoom will deliver fantastic memories. Also, be patient, the wildlife are there, Yes you have to be lucky, it is not guaranteed, but you won't be disappointed.

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Fantastic experience

Cycling in Mexico

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Cycled the Yucatan peninsula in January. Great weather,flat terrain and amazing company.
Visiting 3 sets of Mayan ruins - all different and completing the 323 km trip without using the bus.

Edgar was great - despite suffering from flu he soldiered on and encouraged us all when we were flagging. He was very flexible showed initiative when appropriate. He was patient could not do enough for us all.had an amazing command of English.

Remember to hydrate as the weather can be hot. Take a gel saddle as the trip is long.

Hotels were very comfortable and most had pools which we used. Would suggest smaller groups as 18 was at times unwieldy. Spent hours in restaurants. Los Lirios the final hotel was disappointing as it was miles from town and the staff were less than enthusiastic

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National Parks walk

National Parks Walk

4.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The content of this trip was excellent and we had a very good holiday. There were a few minor deficiencies however, mostly concerning information/communication..... We travelled with others who had booked through Grand American Adventures and they appear to have been better served: they arrived earlier in Las Vegas and had time to explore the city whereas we had time only for a quick dash in, despite the trip notes listing day 1 as a city day. We arrived at the hotel at 6.00pm, just in time for the briefing. We were advised that our guide would expect tips of $5-7 per person per day but we were surprised to hear that there were two guides and they expected $10 per day each. As a couple, therefore, we paid $400 which was way above budget. There were other minor 'annoyances' ... we were told that no meals were included but our GAA were told some breakfasts were included. We were left unsure but caught on eventually and gained a couple of meals! The Alexis Park was disappointing: they took 1 hour to collect us on arrival, the room was shoddy (and the door lock fell off) and it is a good 15 mins brisk walk to town. We thought we might also have been dropped at the airport for our return flight, as we passed the door, rather than return to the Alexis Park and immediately return to the airport. Sedona, the last minute addition to the itinerary, was very nice and we felt we could have made more of the walking opportunities there. A short town tour and lie by the pool was all that was needed!
The helicopter ride over Grand Canyon is (ridiculously) expensive but not to be missed.

Both leaders were unreservedly excellent in all aspects.

Check the details and check the real costs.

Our 'criticisms' should not be overestimated. We had a very good time and would recommend this trip to anyone but we felt a little short changed - late arrival, missed breakfasts and extra tip costs. A bit of 'tidying up' and clearer information would make this trip an absolutely tip-top package.

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Terrific Introduction to Lake Michigan

Magical Lake Michigan: Chicago to Chicago

5.0
January 2017
Blount Small Ship Adventures
Recommend: Yes
Of my seven cruises in various parts of the world this past year, this was near the top of my list. From the moment we drew away from the dock at Chicago's Navy Pier, dazzled by the lights of the city, to our return to Chicago a week later, the cruise was filled with surprisingly fascinating places and relaxing times on the water as well. The itinerary featured three states: Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Highlights included Beaver Island, an isolated, sparsely populated isle in northern Lake Michigan that has an intriguing history; Mackinac Island, the total opposite in that it's swarming with tourists, but understandably so for its ornate Victoria architecture and picturesque fort; and Milwaukee, a city on the rise that reminded me of a mini-Chicago. My wife and I met a number of interesting passengers aboard, there was plenty of deck sitting, the food was perfectly good and the captain and crew were very professional. The Grande Mariner ship has been around a while, but the cabins and public rooms were adequate to their task, which was to get us from scenic or historic spot to the next. Most people don't even know that Lake Michigan cruises exist, but they should.
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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


North America Trips & Tour Advice

Of the 50 most visited man-made and natural tourist attractions in the world, more than half are in the United States. A number of them are theme parks, but others range from urban parks (San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, New York’s Central Park) to natural wonders (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Niagara Falls) and areas for urban exploration (Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Boston’s Faneuil Hall, New York’s Times Square and South Street Seaport, Chicago’s Navy Pier, Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums, and, of course, the Las Vegas Strip). All are worthy of tour stops, but North America has much more to offer than the usual tourist attractions, and tours that help you get off the beaten path can be the most memorable of all.

In the United States alone, you can visit the deserts of California’s Death Valley – one of the hottest places on earth – or walk on glaciers in Alaska. You can ride airboats through the Florida Everglades or on historic windjammer sailing vessels off the Maine coast. The Rocky Mountains rise high in Colorado and give way to the pancake-flat Great Plains to their east. The Great Lakes provide recreation for the Upper Midwest while the Gulf of Mexico offers waterborne fun to the Deep South. Utah’s Bryce and Zion national parks, South Dakota’s Badlands, and California’s Yosemite all feature geologic formations that range from the strange to the magnificent -- and are always remarkable to view.

Canada’s Rockies equal those of the U.S. – you can try heli-hiking or heli-skiing in remote areas of British Columbia, where only helicopters can reach the mountain lodges – while the far eastern Canadian Maritime provinces combine brisk sea air with fresh seafood, and French-speaking Quebec serves up Montreal, Quebec City and other delights. And, for good measure, Toronto is considered the world’s most ethnically diverse city.

Mexico shelters unforgettable archaeological sites such as the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula; fascinating indigenous cultures in Oaxaca and Chiapas; and fishing villages and beach towns along both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. South and east of Mexico, the countries of Central America are fast developing their tourism infrastructures, so now is the time to see Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Costa Rica already enjoys a thriving tourist industry, and Panama – divided physically yet united in spirit by its famous canal – is an often overlooked gem.

We can’t even begin to name all that’s out there, so to find the North American guided tour that’s right for you, turn to Stride’s handy comparison tools – and get on or off the beaten track...it’s your choice.

Related Guides

Countries: 

United States of America, Canada, Mexico

Attractions: 

Grand Canyon, U.S; Denali, Alaska; Arches National Park, U.S; Niagara Falls, Canada; Banff National Park, Canada; Chichen Itza, Mexico;Teotihuacan, Mexico; Yosemite, U.S;  and Many More 

Top Activities:                   

Nature Viewing, Hiking and Exploring Ruins & Archaeology

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