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The Best Adventure Tours for Women

The Best Adventure Tours for Women
Words by
Rachel L. Miller

Adventure means different things to different people.

For some, adventure means journeying out to a remote destination and living off the land for five days, without a guide...or a map. For others, like me, adventure means doing something completely new - whether it's a group hike in Colorado or traveling solo in a foreign city. But no matter your level of daring, there's a company out there just waiting to help you realize your potential, and that's what this list is all about. The following companies specialize in trips for women, so you can kayak or canoe without the tense atmosphere of competition and testosterone that you get on some co-ed trips. You don't have to worry how you look -- you can just concentrate on bonding with other female travelers and, most importantly, on getting to know yourself.

Adventure Women
Exploring the Antarctic Region.
Photo: AdventureWomen

Adventure Women -- How would you like to be one of the few people to ever set foot on Antarctica? How about cycling and snorkeling in Vietnam? One of the oldest adventure travel companies for women (founded in 1982), AdventureWomen specializes in trips for women over 30. According to its website, in 2002 it is offering "26 different vacations which include activities such as downhill skiing, sea kayaking, safaris, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding, not to mention numerous international cultural and ecological journeys." If you're looking for a cheap getaway, drive to grandma's house - these trips aren't for you. Costs vary from almost $9,000 for the Antarctica trip to $1,800 for the Montana Cowgirl Sampler. But the experience you'll receive in return for your hard-earned cash is bound to be one you'll never forget.

Call of the Wild -- Founded in 1978 by Carole Latimer (who RTM has featured in a profile), Call of the Wild is the longest-running women's adventure travel company in the world. Trip destinations are mainly in the Western U.S. - in Arizona, California, Alaska and Hawaii. One of the many perks of a Call of the Wild trip is the food - Latimer is known in the adventure industry as a chef extraordinaire and has published a book full of wilderness gourmet recipes.

After a long day of hiking, you'll feast on meals such as coconut-flavored Thai Tom Yum Soup made with fresh vegetables. A warning: You'll be camping if you choose a multi-day trip - after all, you can' t hear the Call of the Wild from inside a hotel room! Costs range from $90 for a day of High Sierra snowshoeing to almost $1,700 for a 10-day exploration of Kauai's Na Pali Coast.
Vermont Tracks of Vermont
Experiencing the beauty of Vermont. Photo: Vermont Tracks

Vermont Tracks of Vermont -- Vermont Tracks offers trips for those of us who like to experience the wonders of nature during the day but return to a dry, comfy bed at night. According to its website, Vermont Tracks provides "a unique combination of pleasurable exercise, creative learning and luxurious comfort." What exactly does that mean? You'll get a weekend of moderate activity (such as hiking in the summer, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter), yoga and massage, and an instructional workshop (topics range from owl identification to astronomy). You'll dine and sleep at a country inn - this isn't a trip for those hard-core adventure travelers who like to eat grubs and sleep on rocks. The cost of a weekend with Vermont Tracks is $775 and it's all-inclusive.

Women Traveling Together -- Now we've come to the end of the adventure spectrum, for those who consider adventure to be venturing to someplace new with a group of strangers (who become friends in a matter of days). Whether you elect to travel to San Francisco or Switzerland, you'll find the spirit of adventure in each new day with Women Traveling Together, a membership-based group that explores destinations worldwide. WTT currently has several hundred members and schedules 15 to 20 trips a year, including adventure trips to Peru and Baja (for whale watching). Travelers usually range in age from 40-65, but there are always exceptions. If you want to travel, but don't want to do it alone, or if you just want to get away with a friend, Women Traveling Together might just be up your alley. Costs range from $550 for a 4-day jaunt to Charleston, S.C., to explore its historic homes and gardens to $2,200 for an 11-day excursion to Peru. You must also become a member of WTT to go on one of its trips -- annual membership is $35.

There are many other outfitters and travel companies who specialize in women's adventures, whether you're looking to experience rock climbing, whitewater rafting or shopping in a foreign city. We'll be adding to this list as we discover additional favorites. Until then, find your sense of adventure and awaken the Goddess within you!

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