G Adventures vs Explora - 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

Enjoyed

5.0 January 2016
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We liked everything about our visit! We have traveled to many places on our planet and Torres del Paine is one of the most spectacularly beautiful. We were there for eight days in 2009 and we enjoyed our visit so much we returned in 2011. We stayed at the Explora both trips. Our room was so nice with such a wonderful view! The food was delicious and the staff were without exception very attentive to every detail. Actually, because we enjoyed our stay at this Explora so much we have also stayed at the Explora on Rapi Nui and in the Atacama. We enjoyed those visits also, but their views were not as spectacular as at Torres.
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Tour Explora Company Reviews

Tours 847 Trips 2 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 189 $ 0
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
Service Level Standard N/A
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • South America
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Eco Travel
Headquarters Toronto, Canada Chile
Year Established 1990 1989
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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    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 Explora

    Founded in 1993, Explora was born out of the passion to showcase the natural beauty of South America, visiting remote and isolated locations on hikes and rides.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Perhaps the most unique aspect of Explora is the way they directly incorporate lodging. Owning hotels and camps, they operate as an all inclusive experience, providing a truly relaxing and easy way to plan an unforgettable South America active travel vacation.

    South America is a dream destination for many hikers and trekkers - and Explora combines the best of active outdoor travel with premium accommodation, cultural nuances and cuisine. Their unique expertise in some of South America’s most remote and stunning hiking routes make them the perfect choice for adventurous travelers.

    Each destinations itinerary is carefully tailored to showcase exactly what makes the particular region stand out.

    Who Travels With Them?

    Their trips are especially well suited to adventurous travelers. All ages are welcome, however these tours are active and physically challenging, so there is expectation of physical fitness.

    Where Do They Operate?

    Explora is all about showcasing the best of South America. In particular they focus on the regions of Patagonia and Atacama in Chile, Easter Island, The Sacred Valley in Peru, Uyuni in Bolivia, Salta and El Chalten in Argentina.

    How Does it Work?

    They own and operate hotels in Chile, and Peru and exclusive camps in Argentina. From these home bases you can join guided multi-day hikes and rides, of varying physical difficulty level. You’ll often stay in local camps along the way, meeting locals in extremely remote regions.

    Most of their tours are hiking based, though some bike and boat explorations are also offered. They also feature special horseback riding excursions in Patagonia, which allow you to take in the rich equine history of the region, led by a guide and a traditional “gaucho”.

    Why Travel With Them?

    If you’re looking for a different kind of hiking experience, that highlights the ability to get out into remote and isolated areas, and gaining a nuanced insight into the cultures and traditions of South America, Explora could be for you. The idea behind Explora is to get in touch with nature on a different level than other tour companies provide.

    They also have a strong commitment to sustainability, running a conservation program alongside their tourism business. They operate several programs for travelers to learn more about being responsible and are strict about the “leave no trace” policy during their wilderness expeditions.

    Their unique approach is designed to give you the best possible experience, meet fellow travelers as friends, and see a different side of South America led by expert local guides.

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