G Adventures vs Encounters Travel - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

This trip is amazing and well worth it. We chose the luxury option and could not have been more pleased.

5.0 April 2019
CF
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was a bucket list trip. We were thrilled with the amount of detail and planning that G Adventures put into this. It was amazing. there was a perfect mix of urban meets rural. The Safari's were spectacular. The wild life interaction was more than we bargained for. The lodges were very accommodating and the service beyond compare. Our CEO (guide) was very knowledgeable and in tune with everyone's needs. We chose to stay in Zambia a 3 days after the scheduled trip. Most of our souvenirs were found here. The night entertainment was great. We believe that group guided trips are not for every vacation. This one is definitely one to let G Adventures do the research and planning for you. Just go and relax there is a lot to enjoy.
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Amazing trip through Antarctica

5.0 March 2019
V
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just had an amazing trip through Antarctica - I would recommend it to anyone - great staff - exceptional food - amazing people - and great experiences :)

Tour G Adventures Company Reviews

Best Tour Operator!!

5.0 March 2019
I
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
G Adventures is the best tour operator I have ever been with. Even if my trip was 2 years ago, their hospitality and adventures will always remain with me. 10/10

Tour G Adventures Company Reviews

Knowledgeable and entertaining

5.0 March 2018
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!
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Tour Encounters Travel Company Reviews

Amazing bespoke trip round North India.

5.0 February 2018
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
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Tour Encounters Travel Company Reviews

Amazing trip to Egypt!

5.0 February 2018
R
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
Read more
Tours 857 Trips 145 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 194 $ 202
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
Headquarters Toronto, Canada West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Year Established 1990 2011
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
Similar Companies
    Countries
    About G Adventures

    Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990.

    Young traveler hiking in Iceland to Waterfall

    Founded by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after a backpacking trip to Asia, the company fosters sustainable and environmentally sound tourism practices -- giving back to the communities they visit -- and considers its business “changig people’s lives,” not just offering a vacation.

    It’s since grown to become the world’s largest independent adventure travel company, with more than 1,350 employees, many of them professionally trained guides.

    What Makes G Adventures Stand Out?

    • Well-balanced, all encompassing, and adventurous trips
    • Strong engagement with local cultures
    • Emphasis on being a responsible traveler and giving back to the community
    • Trips that are made to be life-changing
     

    G Adventures strives to create unique experiences for its travelers that start even before the trip itself. The company provides trip inspiration through their Looptail blog and you can connect with fellow travelers via the ‘Departure Lounge’, which is part of G’s ‘Watering Hole’ travel forum.

    Iceland travel ice caves

    Once on your trip, you will meet your ‘CEO’ or ‘Chief Experience Officer’ who is “responsible for enriching your journey, offering local insight, and pursuing great experiences as they happen.” Most groups average around 12 travelers, with a maximum of 16 on most trips.

    G Adventures has made a concerted effort to expand their offering beyond youth focused adventures, though this remains a core theme. Your Danube River Cruise will be imbued with the same culturally immersive and adventurous touch as your trekking journey through the Himalayas.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling With G Adventures?

    • Adventurous-minded and culturally curious people
    • Moderately active people
    • Ages 18-39 (but all ages are welcome)
    • Solo travelers (no charge for single supplement!)
    • Those who favor authentic experiences over luxury  

    4wd on the beach in Australia

    If you are the kind of traveler who packs running shoes before dress shoes, hiking attire before dinner attire, and a sense of adventure before playing it safe, then G Adventures is the perfect fit for you. You love engaging with locals, meeting new people, and being spontaneous. 

    Most G Adventures tours have an active focus - expect to be on the move, packing a lot in. That said they do allot generous free time to explore on your own. There’s a chance you may not see every major tourist attraction in the interest of a more “real” experience. But the nice thing is if a particular site is not on the itinerary, you can use your free time to visit.

    If you are interested in a tour that plans every part of the itinerary down to the minute, G Adventures will probably not be the best fit for you. 

    Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators. 

    String of camels in Morocco with local guide

    Top Destinations

    Thailand longboat G Adventures tour  

    You can find G Adventures trips in most parts of the globe, including 32 countries in Europe, 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 countries in Asia, 10 countries in South America, 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, five countries in North Africa and the Mideast, plus the U.S., and Canada.

    A number of destinations are well off the beaten track, from Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa to Borneo in east Asia to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and both polar regions.

    Itineraries often focus on more off the beaten path locations; small towns, remote and rural villages, less touristy districts and sites.

    G Adventures Travel Style

    Pricing is competitive (cheaper), largely by using “grassroots” approaches: local transport and a mix of privately-owned accommodations, perhaps including homestays and camping. Efforts are made to focus on authenticity with both culinary choices (locally-owned restaurants) as well as transportation methods.

    G Adventures truly offers something for everyone. Trip styles include Classic, Active, Rail, YOLO (You Only Live Once - for 18-39’s), National Geographic Journeys, Marine, Family, Local Living, and Private Groups.

    Local Living tour with G Adventures

    Classic - Classic trips with G Adventures are designed for independent minded travelers who don’t want to miss anything. This is the perfect choice if you want a balanced mix of classic tourist sights and local cultural experiences.

    Active - Throwing it back to one of the things G Adventures does best. Kayak, walk, hike, trek; experience your destination through the outdoors. These multi-sport trips are great if you hate standing still and enjoy being out in nature. G Adventures Active tours are ideal for those who are relatively physically fit and like a challenge.

    Rail - A rail journey is a great way to dial it back. Take it slow and really savor the feeling of the journey. Take iconic routes and enjoy the ride.

    YOLO - “You only live once” is the acronym, and while G Adventures provides adventurous experiences for all, these trips are specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Get cheeky, get wild, experience life unfettered, as you explore the culture and the local nightlife. If you have the stamina, these trips are once in a lifetime. Kind of like the age range.

    National Geographic Journeys - A more premium travel experience, these G Adventures trips, as part of a partnership with National Geographic Expeditions, involve the same culturally immersive approach and knowledgeable guides with an elevated level of accommodations and service.

    Marine - Love to be out on the water? Let G Adventures cruises take you to the far reaches of the globe via river and ocean. Experience incredible sights above and below the surface. Unpack once and enjoy the escape of being a part of the crew and passengers.

    Family - Adventure tours aren’t always especially friendly to younger travelers. G Adventures Family Friendly tours make adventure activities accessible for you and your youngsters! Trips often have an educational element, and are designed with multiple ages in mind.

    Local Living - Get to the heart of it with a homestay. These tours are designed to make you really feel at home and appreciate the feel and rhythm of living like a local.

    Private Groups - If you and your family, or a group of friends want the fun all to yourself, G Adventures can plan a private group trip just for you.

    Note: part of the culturally immersive experience when traveling with G Adventures is the use of public transportation. This means carrying your own luggage on buses, trains, etc - sometimes during commute hours! So pack light for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you.

    Why Choose a Tour With G Adventures?

    Bungee Jumping bridge in New Zealand G Adventures tour

    For those travelers seeking an exciting, professionally guided, and culturally immersive travel experience G Adventures is the perfect tour company to consider. Their trips are designed to be as authentic as possible - and they place much emphasis on giving back to local communities - so you’ll know your tourism dollars are going toward meaningful causes.

    Trips with G Adventures are not luxury by any means. But if unique experiences and active days appeal to you over a fluffy pillow then you’re in the right place.

    Departures are guaranteed once you’ve paid (barring significant weather or safety issues). And they don’t charge single supplements. In short, G Adventures wants you out there with them.

    You can find something for everyone at G Adventures; whether that’s sailing down the Danube with a glass of wine in hand, or traipsing through the rainforests of Costa Rica.

    FAQ

    1. What kind of luggage should I bring?

    On many G Adventures trips it’s important to keep in mind that local public transportation is used frequently. Sometimes during commute hours! For your comfort and the comfort of those around you, it’s a good idea to pack light. Some areas will be very crowded, so take pickpocket precautions.

    2. Do I need travel insurance?

    Yes! Travel insurance is required for all travelers on G Adventures trips. If you don’t have your own insurance already, you can purchase a plan for the time you’ll be traveling when you book your G Adventures tour. This is an easy and budget friendly option. If you’re interested in browsing more plans, check out the top travel insurance options »

    3. Is airfare included?

    Unfortunately no. While G Adventures does not include international airfare in their trip prices, they can help you book flights.

    4. Is there a single supplement?

    No. G Adventures does not charge a single supplement for their tours. Single travelers are very welcome. You will share with a same-sex roommate during the tour. If you wish to have a single room, there is usually an option to pay an additional fee for your own room.

    5. Is there an age cap?

    While G Adventures trips tend to appeal largely to younger adventure travelers, all ages are welcome on the majority of trips. The exceptions include on their 18-39 tours, which are specifically designed for only travelers within that range. On most other G Adventures trips, children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian, and are open to kids 12 and up. Some family friendly trips are open to younger kids.

    6. What size are the groups?

    G Adventures group tours are kept small and intimate. The max is 15, with the average hovering more around 10.

    About Encounters Travel

    Encounters Travel is a UK based travel company specializing in adventurous cultural tours. With over 50 years of experience, they have unbeatable knowledge and guarantee the best customer service. They offer a wide selection of tours that’ll take you around the world, catering to people of all ages, interests, and budgets.

    What Makes Encounters Travel Stand Out?

    They offer small group tours around the world, with an adventure twist. Their tours are about having an active and adventurous time, balanced with cultural activities. Encounters Travel creates innovative small group itineraries, as well as offering custom private tours. They focus on providing amazing experiences within a reasonable budget range.

    Who Will Enjoy Travelling with Encounters Travel?

    Travelers seeking adventure tours tied in with nature, wildlife, history, and culture will most enjoy their tours. Since they cater to people of all nationalities, it’s great chance to meet travelers from all over the globe.

    sunset over mountains

    Their tours offer great value for money, as they are focused on activities and authentic experiences. So whether you’re a budget traveller that’s trying to stretch their dollar, willing to pay premium for luxury, or something in between - there’s an adventure made for you.

    Their tours are primarily enjoyed by active travelers, in the 20-40 range. However, they do have tours made for families with children to enjoy as well.

    a book with an elephant and animations popping out

    Top Destinations

    They operate tours around the world, with a majority of tours in Europe and Africa. From a hike up the physically challenging trails in South America to discovering Egypt’s Pyramids of Gyza, they cover all your bucket list destinations.

    Tours with set itineraries will take you along the classic routes, where you will experience the highlights of the area. However their escorted and tailor-made tours are there for those seeking a more specialised trip.

    Encounters Travel Style

    Those who travel with Encounters will expect an adventure of their lifetime without cutting corners to save money or time. It’s all about getting to interact with travelers and locals, being immersed, and learning about cultures in an authentic and responsible way.

    friends with their arms around each other

    Accommodations are simple, but comfortable. Expect hotels in the 3-4 star range (for local standards), homestays, and camping. The places are always safe, clean, and comfortable, but will not be luxurious by any means. Transportation varies depending on what tour style you choose. For shoestring budget tours, you’ll be using more public transportation. Standard level tours will make use of private transportation. Majority of their tours are moderately physically challenging and will require you to walk, bike, or trek.

    Groups are small - the max is 20 but more typically you’ll travel with between 12-15 people. Custom designed itineraries are also an option for more independent minded travelers.

    They have six different ways of traveling...

    1. Small Group Adventure Tours: These tours are made for those traveling solo, with some friends or a couple, and enjoy being in a group setting. Small Group Adventure Tours are great for those that don’t mind meeting new faces and socializing throughout the journey. Build friendships with people of all different nationalities while going on an adventure of your lifetime. They’ll take you to exotic and exciting destinations - some you may have never even considered visiting!

    2. Shoestring Budget Adventure Tours: Maybe you’re trying to watch your spendings without sacrificing adventure. Or you’re a long-term traveler who would rather see more and can deal with discomfort. Encounters Travel is transparent and honest about how their budget tours will call for larger groups, use of public transit, and staying at 3-star hotels.

    3. Overland Tours & Safari Adventures: Made for young adults and seniors alike, Overland Tours and Safari Adventures are made for those looking for a cultural, scenic, and wildlife experience. See the key attractions in Africa, while exploring places off the beaten path too. Mid-ranged hotels and lodges are arranged for you. Or if you want to ramp up the adventure level, you can choose their camping option. Also you can decide if you want to do the whole trip, or only partake in one particular section.

    4. Family Adventure Tours: If you want some family vacation ideas that also cater to the adults, look no further! These itineraries are created to be enjoyed by everyone and make for a memorable family holiday. Trips can be tailored to suit your family’s particular requirements. Want child-friendly guides? To meet other families traveling with kids? More flexibility to move on when your kids are bored? They’ve got you covered.

    5. Escorted Group Adventure Tours: Reputable and specially selected experts will guide you throughout your entire journey, giving you in depth explanations and an educational tour experience. Depending on your destination, they’ll either lead the entire tour by themselves, or work with a local guide. This is the best way to go if you want a specialised itinerary, more talks, and workshops in your trip. Go home feeling like an expert yourself.

    6. Tailor-Made and Adventure Tours: These are made for people who want to have private tours and fully customized itineraries. Want to know the best part? These can made for both budget and luxury travelers! Focused on allowing you explore, learn, and appreciate the cultural heritage of your chosen country, itineraries are made for you to make the most out of your limited time. Have more free time to chat with locals, choose how much public transportation you want to use, and modify the suggested itineraries.

    Why Choose a Tour with Encounters?

    They strive to strike a balance and keep their tours focused on a good combination of fun and culture, regardless of the country. So if visiting important cultural icons and attractions is important to you, but you grow weary of non-stop sightseeing, Encounters Travel would be the perfect tour company for you.

    Reviewers have mentioned in the past that accommodations aren’t what you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in western countries. Be aware that local standards are different and may not be what you expect, but they use the best hotels at the level stated. Hotel breakfasts are also a hit-or-miss, and customers say they’ve had repeat meals. If an authentic culinary experience is important to you, you might want to take that into consideration.

    Overall, Encounters Travel is a great option for those looking for adventure around the world. A trip to Egypt, Morocco, or Greece is just around the corner. Just choose your destination and budget range, and let them take care of the rest.

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