Topdeck vs Explora - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

Fast-Paced Tour of Western Europe that highlighted most Bucket List Sights. Awesome Company. Great Food and Tour Leader

5.0 June 2019
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I jumped on this tour with very little notice and planning, and I was thoroughly impressed. Our Topdeck trip leader was very knowledgeable, fun, and adjusted the trip to the group (34 people). The meals provided were delicious, and they worked hard to cater to dietary needs. Accommodations were good, typically with 2-6 people in a hostel room. Keep in mind they are hostels, not hotels (bring your own towel).

I loved the itinerary, as it highlighted the must-see places and had variety (ex. Paris, Rome vs. Switzerland). The optionals in each city were all wonderful. However, many were not presented in the Topdeck literature online and were not introduced on the trip more than a day in advance. All are paid for in cash (Euros). Because of how the optionals were presented, it was a bit harder to budget. I would recommend inquiring more about the optionals when booking and at the beginning of your tour via your trip leader. Don't feel pressured to do all of them and remember to keep your own interests in mind.

The solo travelers easily found others with similar interests to explore with. For many on this trip, drinking and going out to bars/clubs was a major component (as alcohol is often cheaper than water). Because of the shortness of this tour along with all the destinations, prepare for lots of driving and to make the most of the time you have in each city.

This trip provided am amazing sampling of Western Europe and opened my eyes to cultures and history I was unfamiliar with. Overall, I would highly recommend this itinerary and touring company, as it provided a good balance between budget and experiences.

P.S. Stay flexible with plans, but some of the popular sights need more pre-planning than expected, like the Eiffel Tower and the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam).
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Overall amazing value. Food, particularly by Topdeck staff, excellent. Spontaneous/flexible; be prepared to pay for lots of extra excursions, on and off your itinerary, in cash.

5.0 June 2019
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Food was excellent. Accomodations were better than expected: hostels, but usually with in-suite bathrooms and always only with other members of your tour of the same gender. Don't try to overplan; trip is quite spontaneous and flexible and you won't know much about the schedule/optionals for each city more than a day or so in advance. Optionals will be plentiful and paid in cash. Only do those that are right for you, even if your trip leader really encourages them and most other people are going. These trips are great for solo travelers, but make sure you find people interested in the same things as you...it will probably be easy to find groups to go to bars and clubs with in the evenings, but harder to find people who prefer other evening plans. Driver was excellent and bus was very comfortable and clean, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on it as there is no driving at night. Trip leader extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful. Overall, excellent value and a trip with plenty of time to see the bucket list highlights in each city.
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Winter Spirit around Europe!

5.0 March 2019
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I did the 24 day Winter Spirit around Europe! I would definitely recommend booking a Topdeck tour! It was the best experience ever. Doing my second Topdeck in July around New Zealand!

Tour Topdeck 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 347 Trips 2 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 147 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard N/A
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • South America
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Eco Travel
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Chile
Year Established 1973 1989
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
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    About Topdeck

    Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years.

    What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out?

    Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck?

    Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest.

    If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea.

    Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour.

    That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities.

    The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience.

    Top Destinations

    Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

    Topdeck Travel Style

    The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends.

    In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.

    Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck

    Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings.

    These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour.

    If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you.

    But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!

    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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