G Adventures vs EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break) - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 4
Value — 4.2
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.2
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
5.0 December 2018
This tour is for those who can deal with a fast pace, early morning starts and staying in a different place each night (except for the 2 nights in Cuenca at the end). A very well thought out - and packed! - itinerary that went off without a hitch, thanks to our very competent, knowledgeable and friendly guide, Franklin, who was also indispensable in organizing side trips/excursions and negotiating a reasonable price for them. Highlights for us were the included morning trip to just below base camp in the Cotopaxi National Park, and the optional excursion to Cajas National Park. The two travel segments by public bus (Quito-Otavalo 2.5 hours; Alausi-Cuenca 4 hours), while interesting, would have been much more enjoyable and comfortable by private transportation. Accommodation was always clean, functional and friendly, but variable in quality from one stop to the next - the highlight being the quaint and comfortable Hacienda El Porvenir at over 3600 metres in a pastoral landscape near the treeline. The high altitude of parts of this tour (Cotopaxi stop at over 4600m and optional Cajas hike 4200m, and even the start-end point of Quito (2800m) is something that prospective travellers should be aware of and plan for (altitude sickness pills, lots of water, good sunscreen)so as to fully enjoy every moment of this memorable trip. As for food, only breakfasts were included, but in most places there were very good food choices in the restaurants and interesting local dishes to try.Read more
Tour Highlands of Ecuador
5.0 December 2018
A stunning and unforgettable experience in landscapes and amidst wildlife every bit as wondrous as we had anticipated! This itinerary packed in numerous landings/hikes and snorkeling opportunities and enabled close-up observation of some of the birds and iguanas for which the islands are famous. The Yolita is considered to be one of the best boats used by G Adventures: the cabins were comfortable and the common areas spacious and pleasant. The 8-person crew was outstandingly efficient, helpful and good-humoured as well as being safety-conscious. They were perfectly trained to help with the sometimes wavy and choppy transfers between boat and panga (dinghy) or boat and rocky shore! They also cooked up very good meals every day. Our guide, Alberto, was very well-organized and knowledgeable, though it took him a while to become willing to engage with questions from the guests. G Adventures has many itineraries in the Galapagos on 4 different boats, though the details of daily shore excursions can change according to the Park authorities' micromanagement to ensure that places are not crowded. If prospective travellers have the money and time to take one of the longest cruises as to visit the geologically newer western and northern islands as well, which we could not do, then you should go for it as you will see different birds and animals than in the South and East. Wildlife viewing also varies with the seasons (warm & wetter versus cool & dry. We would have appreciated having the option to extend our trip by one more night, on land (Santa Cruz) so as to have had a chance to see giant tortoises in the wild instead of having to fly back to Quito mid-morning after an interesting but rushed visit to the Darwin research station. We wish that G Adventures had offered this as an option.Read more
Footnote: G Adventures begins and ends all its Galapagos trips at the Hilton Colon hotel, which we liked very much - very friendly for a big hotel, heated outdoor pool and an amazing buffet breakfast if you have time to enjoy it - our tour left for Galapagos at 4:30AM...
5.0 November 2018
Discover Patagonia Fan
This was our first G Adventures trip and it was a comfort (vs classic) tour. Overall we loved the tour and all it had to offer. The glaciers, National Parks, hikes, scenery, local travel options including ferry/boats all exceeded our expectations. We chose to participate in all the included activities and many optional ones including a boat ride to Perito Moreno Glacier, Teatro Colon Tour, Osorno Volcano Day hike, Tierra del Fuego NP visit, and a helicopter landing on the Andes in Ushuaia. We enjoyed all the included adventures including the Penguin experience, tango lesson, travel via catamaran, Torres del Paine NP, Glacier NP, and the lecture by the glacier expert.Read more
We had a diverse group with ages ranging from 25-88. Everyone was very respectful of each other and we all got along well. Our CEO (tour guide) Gino did an exceptional job of tending to everyone's needs and ensuring each of us was included in as much as we wished. He made it all seem easy and always had a great temperament. He was very skilled at keeping us moving and ensuring we all had fun. When unexpected things occurred such as illness, baggage issues, special needs he handled them well.
The one area I felt was lacking was in the accommodations and in particular in Puerto Varras. The original hotel utilized Radison Park Inn was considerily below our expectations and making the situation worse was that they had a party right next to our assigned rooms until 3:00 a.m. on the second night of our stay. We were able to arrange an upgrade to a sister property that was much nicer and quieter for our second night. The Radison Park Inn was an alternative hotel due to lack of space at the primary hotel but it quality does not match the description of a comfort tour and in my opinion should not be utilized even as a back up option.
Tour Discover Patagonia
1.0 October 2018
Does Not Recommend
So far, our experience has not been great.Read more
We booked, everyone was fabulous, we were excited! I was offered an additional $100 off of my trip and $45 off the price of private rooming, along with my boyfriends. Obviously an incentive to get us to book. Neither discounts were ever taken off the bill, even after sending in emails. Eventually I sent screenshots of what other reps had said and had the $45 taken off, but they refuse to honor the other discount. Oh well, only $200.
We are supposed to be leaving in January. They recently emailed and said that due to low enrollment, they are changing the dates to combine us with another group. Not only did I get this time off work, but the second date is after my semester already starts. Im not sure what Ill do for school, and no one at EF seems to care how this affects us. We selected a specific date? How can you just go and change it? Oh well, we will have to make it work.
Finally, the cherry on the cake here, we are told that our private room isn't a guarantee and we wont necessarily get it if we change dates. So the upgrade we already paid $700 for isn't necessarily available. No one ever mentioned it being questionable, they were in such a rush to take our money they didn't even feel the need to let us know. I told them that the private rooming is make-or-break for us, and Ive been waiting on a reply for days.
So far, the anxiety I feel over losing out on 3k is not worth the convenience of the monthly payments. Id highly recommend booking elsewhere unless you are unemployed and not a student.
5.0 August 2018
Life of Dan
This trip was the European Road trip that was specifically done for New Years. It took us on a road trip through Amsterdam, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and London.Read more
The trip was truely an experience which was only made amazing due to the awesome time we had with our tour director Tyson Monfredini. The man is overall the best director ive ever taken a trip with. He is so unbelievably helpful in all things and is super down to earth. Unlike directors who are there just to do their jobs and thats it; Tyson really makes you feel like family. He will go out with you to explore the city, give you advice and overall act like a true friend.
The trip involves visiting multiple cites via a couch bus. After so much time traveling you create a bond with the individuals who are on the trip and you might end up doing other trips with some of those people.
You will explore the cities, clubs, bars, new foods, cultures and so much more.
I truly recommended this trip for a person who wants to hit the road and explore.
If you want check out my channel and look at some of the trips I have taken. Each place is in its own segments and I have more videos I need to still need to post.
Tour EF College Break Company Reviews
5.0 June 2018
11 days of pure bliss. Hands down the best trip of my life. Went with friends from college but left with 40 new friends and one incredible Greek tour director. Best bang for your buck out there. All accommodations and travel included in the price. Highly recommend for 20 and 30 year olds if you like the beach, boats, and drinking!Read more
Tour The Greek Islands
|Tours||807 Trips||27 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 197||$ 229|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Canada||Cambridge, MA, USA|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990.
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?
Trips with G Adventures are all encompassing, adventurous, exciting, and fulfilling. Since the beginning, G Adventures has maintained a strong message of engaging with local cultures, being a responsible traveler, and contributing back to communities. Their trips are designed 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.
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?
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. You also favor experiences over luxury accomodations.
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.
While its target market has traditionally been younger travelers in the 18-39 range, G Adventures has expanded significantly, now offering a broad range of trips that appeal to adventurous-minded, culturally curious people of any age.
Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators. G Adventures also does not charge a single supplement, so solo travelers are very welcome on their trips.
They offer numerous travel styles, some at a higher budget range, like their National Geographic Journeys. Most G Adventures trips are accessible to low to mid budgets and are ideal for travelers who like experiential small group active travel.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Newly rebranded as ‘EF Ultimate Break’, EF College Break has been a leader in educational tours, language services, and study abroad experiences since 1965.
What Makes EF Ultimate Break Stand Out?
EF stands for “Education First”, and they have been offering educational travel experiences, exchange programs, work and teach abroad assistance, and language courses for over 50 years. They focus on making sure the often daunting and complicated process of planning an abroad experience, whether for pleasure or a career change, remains as simple as possible.
Their travel experiences were named EF College Break, this name changed to EF Ultimate Break in 2017, reflecting a fresher more youth driven outlook, and seemingly placing less emphasis on the education aspect and more on the fun aspect.
Their tours are about being completely immersed in your destination and appreciating all it has to offer with your tour group who are guaranteed to become your good friends by the end. This is like a study abroad journey with all the fun and none of the schoolwork.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With EF Ultimate Break?
This is the kind of trip that active outgoing, social college aged adults interested in learning and having fun will enjoy. If you have a “work hard play hard” kind of mentality you will fit in well with their approach to traveling.
EF Ultimate Break specifically caters to 18-29 year olds (though the broad spectrum of their educational programs are open to adults and working professionals). Their main target being 18-29, tours are designed to not be price prohibitive, itineraries include a lot of social activities, and the emphasis is on having fun and staying active, with a sprinkling of educational value thrown in for good measure. Enough for you to maybe convince a parent to put up some of the cost.
Incredibly studious types who gravitate to history tours, archaeological sites, and long moments in each stop learning from a guide may want to check around first before settling on EF Ultimate Break. One of their mantras is “we don’t do boring” and let’s face it museums often fall under that category.
The emphasis is on being active, seeing and doing a lot - both on the historically significant side as well as the locally immersive side (which in this case might mean your bunkmates are frequently sampling the nightlife).
There is a strong emphasis on Europe for EF Ultimate Break, though they do offer group travel experiences around the world. In Europe they cover many popular countries in Western and Central Europe, including Iceland and the UK.
In Central America, you can find trips in Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, and in South America they have departures to Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina. In Asia, EF Ultimate Break has tours in China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Lastly you can also find tours in South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand.
EF Ultimate Break Travel Style
Tours are designed to be easy to pay for using installments; and they have a few different payment plans to choose from. You can choose from 1-2 week, 2-4 week, and 4+ week durations, and filter by a variety of trip type.
While on your tour: Accommodations are standard and basic. Think multi-bed hostel rooms more than hotels. A variety of transportation modes will be used, from private motor coach to train to bicycle.
Your Tour Director is a local, ready to introduce you and welcome you to their home - acting as a tour guide and friend.
Why Choose a Tour With EF Ultimate Break?
If you’re a college aged adult looking for a stress free and adventurous tour experience, EF Ultimate Break could be the perfect choice. This is for the type of traveler for whom backpacking through Europe sounds fun, but you’d rather do it with a little less stress, a little more companionship, and the guarantee of a hot meal and drinks with friends. But the adventurous backpacker spirit remains.
Not only that, but they provide generous payment plans, and almost everything is included making it really hard for you to make the excuse that an awesome travel experience is out of reach financially. They want you to see the world, have fun, and provide many ways to make it happen.