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Top Guided Group Experiences

Taking a Safari in Tanzania and witnessing the incredibly diverse African wildlife

Following in the footsteps of Darwin on a tour of the Galapagos

Local guides relaying their personal stories and experiences adds a layer of authenticity and immersion.

Taking a food tour from Barcelona to Berlin

Visiting a Maori village in New Zealand, learning about their culture and seeing a traditional Haka performed

Getting up before dawn in Alice Springs, Australia and taking a drive out to watch the sunrise over Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Satisfying your inner Indiana Jones on a guided tour of the Pyramids in Egypt, led by professional Egyptologists

Immersing yourself in a one-of-a-kind shopping experience by visiting a famous floating market on a top Thailand tour

View More

Top Guided Group Attractions

Safari Tour in South Africa

Guided Group Tour through China

National Parks in the United States

Group Tours of the Canadian Rockies 

Guided Tour of Paris

Tours through Metropolitan Japan

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Guided Group Attractions And Landmarks Guide

The old image of guided group tours as endless on-again, off-again bus stops is mostly long past. Today's guided group tours may spend days biking the Greek Islands, boarding a Zodiac in Antarctica, hiking the Canadian Rockies on an epic Canada vacation, or delving deeply into the cultures of distant lands. Group sizes are often smaller -- as few as 10 to 16 per trip -- guides are better trained, and potential destinations are increasingly far-flung. Guided group tours also allow you to focus on the sights rather than the logistics of travel, help provide companionship on the road, and can save you money as well by securing group rates. They remain the most common type of tour, but they now offer uncommon benefits.

Flexible Itineraries

Gone are the days when group travel only meant following your flag-waving guide aimlessly from museum to museum. Sure, guided travel means traveling on a pre-set, multi-day itinerary. If you miss the plane, bus, or train, you’re in trouble! However, these days, guided tour companies like Explore! actually schedule free time into the itinerary, which encourages travelers to explore on their own. For example, you might join your group on an orientation walk around Marrakech in the morning, but then have the afternoon free to explore Djemaa el-Fnaa square. On longer excursions, you might even get an entire ‘free’ day to lounge on the beach or go for a day hike.

Comfortable & Local Transportation Options

While coach tours do exist and are great for some people, they are hardly the only option in the guided travel category. Many travel operators such as Abercrombie & Kent, offer transportation options like private luxury vans that hold only 16 people. Other companies, such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel, use local transportation, such as tuk-tuk, felucca, and even camels to get you from point A to point B. Not only does this usually result in lower costs for you, but it provides an opportunity to mingle with locals vs. being stuck in a stuffy coach with your fellow travelers.

An Opportunity to Socialize & Make Friends

You’ll find that you actually have a lot in common with your travel companions. Most group travelers are like-minded and choose group tours for the same reasons: to get an authentic taste of a destination without having to worry about planning the logistics of an international vacation. Whether you’re in a group of 10 or 20, chances are you will connect with someone who you share something in common with. And you never know, maybe you will make a few life-long friends along the way!

Smaller Groups

These days, many guided tour operators are offering ‘small group’ tours. This means traveling under the radar with groups as small as 10 travelers. And, if you choose the right tour operator, traveling in this intimate style doesn’t need to equate to high prices. Small groups mean you can be more nimble and flexible, and they make the group feel more accessible to the local people. It’s also much easier to make true connections with your fellow travelers.

Authenticity and Local Flavor

A group tour can be just as authentic and eye-opening as independent travel; perhaps even more so if you’re lucky enough to have a local tour guide. Think of your guide as a friendly local who can ‘unlock’ the destination for you - showing off favorite restaurants, markets, photo spots, boutiques, etc. Some tour operators like Exodus include homestays in their itineraries. What better way to experience France than by staying in the home of a local winemaker? You'll have the chance to chat with locals on public trains, play in a random soccer game with a bunch of children, and learn about local spices from a market vendor. What’s more authentic than that?

30,938
Guided Group Tour Reviews - Summary
98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 48,519 Great 14,268 Average 721 Disappointing 207 Terrible 158
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

PTwPaD

Recommends

Really Amazing tour, we were well cared for! March 2018

5.0

Panama Canal Cruise, Rainforests & Beaches

We went on the tour with Pedro the tour director and David, our driver. We departed on the 15th and were there for a week. We toured the canal top to bottom. I'll be honest- if you're looking for lots of nature time, this isn't your tour. HOWEVER, we knew that going in AND we still picked up over 80 species of birds, lots of monkeys, etc. We toured Panama City for a day and a half, spent two days in Gamboa, 2 days at the beach and then one last day in Panama City.

The entire trip we were well cared for. The food was really good (though if you're bringing kids on the trip, the Gamboa Resort is the only one that has more typical kid fare) David and Pedro kept us well hydrated, educated on all things Panama (historical, ecological, etc). Pedro also went out of his way to be sure our 5 year old was well cared for including time in the captain's cabin during the canal transit, telling them jokes, etc. He says he doesn't get to see many kids on this tour, so he seemed as excited as our son!

The accomodations are great with the exception of the Intercontinental Miramar. The food there is average and the rooms need updated. However, The Westin was an all inclusive day and amazing. The Gamboa resort is something out of a magazine - and the pool there is fabulous (though their bartenders need a little extra motivation it seems).

On our free day, Pedro even helped us organize a tour out to the Pipeline so we could get some extra birding in. He called a few different locals that were trustworthy and affordable so we could get more time in the rainforest.

Overall, it was worth every penny and we're excited to take other Caravan Tours!
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Operator Caravan Tours

S

Recommends

What a find! March 2018

5.0

12 Day Classic Vietnam 2018 Itinerary

My wife and I just got back from the 12 day Classic Vietnam tour with Gate 1 travel. It was our first "escorted" tour experience with any company and I was really curious how that was going to work out. We were both totally happy with our experience. In our group there were approximately 15 couples and three individual travelers, my wife and I were the only ones who this was our first trip with Gate 1. This was the third for the next lowest and some had been upwards of ten tours and one couple already has three additional tours booked with them. That told us a lot. We really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers who were a very interesting and eclectic group with lots of travel experiences.

I am a very serious photographer and went primarily for photo opportunities, particularly of the people living their lives. Gate 1 tours are not especially designed for "photographers" but this one, at least, and I presume all of them, are just natural opportunities for lots of great photos.

Some of the HIGHLIGHTS:
Our tour guide, whose name is Tu, was amazing! There were very few if any questions that stumped him and believe me there were a lot of very interesting and detailed questions on every subject imaginable for a tour. His personal story was about as interesting as it gets as he was raised in a tiny village of rice farmers Northwest of Hanoi, and is the first person in his entire family ever to leave the farm and get an education.

Everywhere we went he passed around local treats for us to sample and gave us ideas of what we might want to do "just for the experience". He did not try to push any particular viewpoints, but explained very well all kinds of information about their political and religious practices, policies and beliefs. He kept us informed of any possible risks in specific areas and bent over backwards to take care of every need. When we flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang I left my wife's cane on the airplane, but didn't discover it until later that evening when were at the hotel in Hoi An. (She only uses it occasionally as needed). We told Tu about it hoping he would have some suggestions of where we might be able to buy a replacement. The next morning at breakfast he brought us the cane. How he got it I'll never know because he wouldn't tell us, but we were amazed!!!

We signed up for all the optional tours. I had to sign up for the Cu Chi Tunnels tour as I was stationed in Cu Chi with the U.S. Army 25th Inf. Div. in 1967 and 1968. I was there for the Tet offensive of 1968 and just barely missed Tet (Vietnamese new year) of 2018, 50 years difference. It was quite the experience to actually enter one of the tunnels that we heard so much about when I was there 50 years ago.

My other favorite optional tours were the ones which took us on the rivers where we saw authentic Vietnamese fishermen and the way many families live both on and around the water.

Speaking of water, Halong Bay is an experience that will never be forgotten. It is easy to see why it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Our hotels were first class all the way. They were clean, modern and provided excellent breakfast buffets, catering to all of the various appetites from around the world.

Some of the LOWLIGHTS:
There really weren't any that I could put on Gate 1's fault. For me, again as a photographer, I would have loved to spend more time at Halong and would have gladly traded some of the time in Hue and/or Hanoi for that and the mattress we had in the Hotel in Hue was almost like sleeping on a Vietnamese farmer's bed (Vietnamese farmers apparently sleep on the floor or at best a solid flat piece of wood with no padding whatsoever). No one else was unhappy with their mattress there, so I don't know if we just got a particularly hard one, or others preferred a super firm one. The Hotel did try to help with an additional mattress cover, but it wasn't that effective.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
Will we book another tour with Gate 1? Absolutely! We are already looking at future destinations. We have also told several friends and family members of our wonderful experience with Gate 1 and recommended they join us. We will soon be among those that can tell of having been with more than one Gate 1 tour, like the rest of our group.

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Operator Gate 1

A

Recommends

The Best Deal! March 2018

5.0

10 Days Nepal Trip

I had the most beautiful, unforgettable, and adventurous experience in Nepal and it was made possible because of the fantastic team of Evergreen Tours who went above and beyond to offer everything they could to make my trip very special. Thank you Evergreen Tours! Read more

Operator Evergreen Tours

TS

Recommends

What a great family trip. March 2018

5.0

World Expeditions Company Reviews

Plenty of activities to keep everyone happy but mixed up with enough time to relax. Fabulous weather and swimming off the boat everyday was a real treat for the kids. Everynight we docked in great ports to explore on foot. The boat was fantastic, really comfy and felt really safe for the kids. Great staff and food. Really amazing trip and didn't really want it to end! Read more

Operator World Expeditions

C

Recommends

It was brilliant March 2018

5.0

World Expeditions Company Reviews

I recently did the 6 day Larapinta Trail and it was brilliant. Much more challenging than I had imagined due to the rocky paths and constant need for focus on every step. The guides were exceptional, the food superb and transport and campsites all comfortable and well maintained. The trail itself was amazing... views, wildflowers, birds, lizards, insects. Overall a very healing trip as the tracks demand presence and to be 'in the moment'. Thank you W.E. - what a wonderful holiday Read more

Operator World Expeditions

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