Los Angeles Times Magazine

Los Angeles Times Magazine

'Scar Treks: Trips for those who can't sit still' - March 2001



We all know people who refuse to slow down: workaholics, workout fanatics, compulsive overachievers. It used to be that these stress addicts hated taking vacations, but now they've inspired their own travel trend: multi-sport adventures. This breed of package tour is designed for those who can't sit still. While many of these trips are best for those who have a steady relationship with their gym, itineraries and activities are sometimes flexible enough to accommodate travellers of all abilities. Here is a list of trips designed for the leisure-impaired:

Active Adventures New Zealand describes its adventure packages as "not lazy vacations, but you'll finish our trips more rested than if you'd spent two weeks in bed!" If you believe that, try the 'Rimu', an exploration of the South Island that includes backpacking through national parks, sea kayaking Milford Sound, cycling the Hollyford Valley and glacial hiking in the southern Alps. Bungee jumping off a bridge and mountain biking are optional.

Hear from our Happy Guests
4.85/5 Rating | 6,500+ Reviews

What people say about our trips

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Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - May 2024

Wonderful time in Peru, even when things don't go according to plan

"When my partner and I caught a bad stomach illness, we thought our trip was over. But thanks to our wonderful guides and quick planning by Active Adventures, we were able to get back on track and have an absolutely incredible time in Peru. From the amazing food to the breathtaking sites and challenging hikes, it was truly an amazing experience.

Thank you to our guides as well who provided great company and extremely insightful history and knowledge that we would not have gotten without them.

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"When my partner and I caught a bad stomach illness, we thought our trip was… read more

"When my partner and I caught a bad stomach illness, we thought our trip was over. But thanks to our wonderful guides and quick planning by Active Adventures, we were able to get back on track and have an absolutely incredible time in Peru. From the amazing food to the breathtaking sites and challenging hikes, it was truly an amazing experience.

Thank you to our guides as well who provided great company and extremely insightful history and knowledge that we would not have gotten without them. read less

5 Stars (116 reviews)

D Daniel | May 2024

Arches & Canyonlands Adventure - May 2024

really nice trip thanks to cool weather and great guides

"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel was in a great location and the people were very friendly. The best part was the Hummer tour.

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"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel… read more

"We were blessed to have cool weather that made hiking and biking easy. The hotel was in a great location and the people were very friendly. The best part was the Hummer tour. read less

5 Stars (58 reviews)

S Sherry | May 2024

Croatia Adventure - May 2024

Cycle the Sunny Isles of Croatia

"Ascend mountains that suddenly drop away to reveal a panorama of tile roofed Mediterranean villages, sailboats moored in little bays, and more islets and the Adriatic Sea beyond. Hike through olive groves and vineyards, smell the lavender and rosemary growing wild along the trail. Enjoy fine dining at small local restaurants where the owner knows the guide and brings platters of delicacies grown locally and the seafood catch of the day. Sample wines with the owner of the vineyard whose family has maintained it for several generations, wines sold only in Croatia. This was a very small and intimate travel experience with excellent guides.

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"Ascend mountains that suddenly drop away to reveal a panorama of tile roofed Mediterranean villages,… read more

"Ascend mountains that suddenly drop away to reveal a panorama of tile roofed Mediterranean villages, sailboats moored in little bays, and more islets and the Adriatic Sea beyond. Hike through olive groves and vineyards, smell the lavender and rosemary growing wild along the trail. Enjoy fine dining at small local restaurants where the owner knows the guide and brings platters of delicacies grown locally and the seafood catch of the day. Sample wines with the owner of the vineyard whose family has maintained it for several generations, wines sold only in Croatia. This was a very small and intimate travel experience with excellent guides. read less

5 Stars (43 reviews)

E Elizabeth | May 2024

Croatia Adventure - May 2024

Second time and just as amazing as the first!

"Croatia multi sport was our second trip with Active, after doing Netherlands cycling last year. This was an awesome full immersion trip into so many aspects of the country! Busy but had just enough down time to relax. Fun activities, great meals and learned so much history. Small group, awesome guides and an absolutely seamless and smooth experience. Active Adventures knocks it out of the park again!!

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"Croatia multi sport was our second trip with Active, after doing Netherlands cycling last year.… read more

"Croatia multi sport was our second trip with Active, after doing Netherlands cycling last year. This was an awesome full immersion trip into so many aspects of the country! Busy but had just enough down time to relax. Fun activities, great meals and learned so much history. Small group, awesome guides and an absolutely seamless and smooth experience. Active Adventures knocks it out of the park again!! read less

5 Stars (43 reviews)

A Andrew | May 2024

Arches & Canyonlands Adventure - May 2024

Keith

"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between). Guides Joel and Steve were great and took care of all the details so we had truly no worries and were both informative and entertaining.

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"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between).… read more

"Everything from pre trip communication to post trip followup was awesome (especially everything in between). Guides Joel and Steve were great and took care of all the details so we had truly no worries and were both informative and entertaining. read less

5 Stars (58 reviews)

K Keith | May 2024

Ultimate North Island Adventure - April 2024

Great Trip

"This was a terrific trip and a great overview of the North Island. It was a follow up to our trip with Active Adventures eight years ago of the South Island. I was surprised that the trip took place as my wife and I were the only participants. Despite that, our guide, Braden, was absolutely wonderful. He was enthusiastic about sharing his homeland with us and very knowledgeable. He has a great sense of humor, was flexible and very attentive all along the way. It was a pleasure to spend two weeks with him.

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"This was a terrific trip and a great overview of the North Island. It… read more

"This was a terrific trip and a great overview of the North Island. It was a follow up to our trip with Active Adventures eight years ago of the South Island. I was surprised that the trip took place as my wife and I were the only participants. Despite that, our guide, Braden, was absolutely wonderful. He was enthusiastic about sharing his homeland with us and very knowledgeable. He has a great sense of humor, was flexible and very attentive all along the way. It was a pleasure to spend two weeks with him. read less

5 Stars (381 reviews)

T Tom | April 2024

Ultimate North Island Adventure - April 2024

Beyond Expectations

"We traveled with Active Adventures 8 years ago to see the South Island of New Zealand. We didn't didn't hesitate to book with them this year when we wanted to see the North Island of New Zealand. Active Adventures did not disappoint. The physical beauty of New Zealand was only surpassed by the warmth of its people and specifically our guide Braden.

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"We traveled with Active Adventures 8 years ago to see the South Island of New… read more

"We traveled with Active Adventures 8 years ago to see the South Island of New Zealand. We didn't didn't hesitate to book with them this year when we wanted to see the North Island of New Zealand. Active Adventures did not disappoint. The physical beauty of New Zealand was only surpassed by the warmth of its people and specifically our guide Braden. read less

5 Stars (381 reviews)

M Martha Van | April 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

One the the BEST trips I’ve ever been on!

"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for our Peru part of the trip, Pepo for our Galapagos portion. They were both very knowledgeable and passionate about showing us the history and beauty of where they are from. Zac was hilarious, kind, and understanding and even had us over to his beautiful house for lunch one day for authentic Peruvian food catered by his family’s catering company. Pepo also is a wonderful guide. We were able to go to his parents’ farm on San Cristobal Island, climb up into their boat/tree house, which was really fun! It’s impossible to describe all the wonderful information they taught us in this paragraph…but I do plan on requesting Zac for a Northern Patagonia trip in the future - he was THAT wonderful!!!! And if I go back to Galapagos, I would definitely ask for Pepo!!!!

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"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for… read more

"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for our Peru part of the trip, Pepo for our Galapagos portion. They were both very knowledgeable and passionate about showing us the history and beauty of where they are from. Zac was hilarious, kind, and understanding and even had us over to his beautiful house for lunch one day for authentic Peruvian food catered by his family’s catering company. Pepo also is a wonderful guide. We were able to go to his parents’ farm on San Cristobal Island, climb up into their boat/tree house, which was really fun! It’s impossible to describe all the wonderful information they taught us in this paragraph…but I do plan on requesting Zac for a Northern Patagonia trip in the future - he was THAT wonderful!!!! And if I go back to Galapagos, I would definitely ask for Pepo!!!! read less

5 Stars (67 reviews)

J Joyce | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Very active adventure, as promised!

"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the best. Pablo is probably one of the best nature and historical guides on any tour and anyone would be lucky to have him as their Galapagos tour guide.

The accommodations included great breakfasts, large and clean rooms and were all very centrally located. Great hotel for meeting in Quito at the beginning and end of the trip as well.

The rest of the food on the trip was also delicious and plentiful.

We also very much enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and look forward to keeping in touch with them.

Overall this was an amazing trip with a great itinerary, interesting people, and friendly, safe and informative guides.

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"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the… read more

"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the best. Pablo is probably one of the best nature and historical guides on any tour and anyone would be lucky to have him as their Galapagos tour guide.

The accommodations included great breakfasts, large and clean rooms and were all very centrally located. Great hotel for meeting in Quito at the beginning and end of the trip as well.

The rest of the food on the trip was also delicious and plentiful.

We also very much enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and look forward to keeping in touch with them.

Overall this was an amazing trip with a great itinerary, interesting people, and friendly, safe and informative guides. read less

4 Stars (505 reviews)

D Denise | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Galapogos

"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures delivered, I learned or saw something new almost every single minute of the trip, each day was a stunning experience. Our guide Pablo was worth every penny Active Adventures must pay him with his wealth of information and ability to teach. Client safety was always paramount no matter where he was taking us.
Paolo was a workhorse with the sweetest disposition and always approachable. I could not believe the efficiency of his timing for our transportation, loading our luggage while we ate, and taking care of the smallest requests. He was wonderful. We never waited for transportation, our accomodations were always ready when we arrived, plus he was so much fun to be around.
This trip was extremely well organized with an interesting variety of activities. Each day was full and my only frustration was the lack of time to relax, explore, or shop. I actually skipped a couple dinners so I could do just that; grab an icecream, leisurely walk the beautiful beach, and watch a sunset.
I loved this trip! Thank you

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"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures… read more

"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures delivered, I learned or saw something new almost every single minute of the trip, each day was a stunning experience. Our guide Pablo was worth every penny Active Adventures must pay him with his wealth of information and ability to teach. Client safety was always paramount no matter where he was taking us.
Paolo was a workhorse with the sweetest disposition and always approachable. I could not believe the efficiency of his timing for our transportation, loading our luggage while we ate, and taking care of the smallest requests. He was wonderful. We never waited for transportation, our accomodations were always ready when we arrived, plus he was so much fun to be around.
This trip was extremely well organized with an interesting variety of activities. Each day was full and my only frustration was the lack of time to relax, explore, or shop. I actually skipped a couple dinners so I could do just that; grab an icecream, leisurely walk the beautiful beach, and watch a sunset.
I loved this trip! Thank you read less

5 Stars (505 reviews)

J Julie | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Our Guide made this trip

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when they picked us up at the San Cristobal Airport to when we departed Santa Cruz, we were treated like the only guests on the islands. Pablo shared his knowledge of the islands, with enthusiasm. His story about the 2005 Sierra Negra Volcanic eruption was captivating. The boat rides between the islands held special memories. We saw a pod of about 40 whales including babies who were then joined by a pod of dolphins. This was mind-blowing. We spent 24 hours on Floreana Island, another special place. The black beaches and tortoise nursery were spectacular. I feel that my time on the islands was well spent and due to Pablo and Paolo, my knowledge of the area increased exponentially.
The travel between Quito and the Galapagos is long. On the first full day of travel, Pablo and Paolo packed in a lot of activity after the plane ride. On the day we returned to Quito we had one stop at a crater on our way to the airport. Once we arrived at our hotel in…

read more

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when… read more

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when they picked us up at the San Cristobal Airport to when we departed Santa Cruz, we were treated like the only guests on the islands. Pablo shared his knowledge of the islands, with enthusiasm. His story about the 2005 Sierra Negra Volcanic eruption was captivating. The boat rides between the islands held special memories. We saw a pod of about 40 whales including babies who were then joined by a pod of dolphins. This was mind-blowing. We spent 24 hours on Floreana Island, another special place. The black beaches and tortoise nursery were spectacular. I feel that my time on the islands was well spent and due to Pablo and Paolo, my knowledge of the area increased exponentially.
The travel between Quito and the Galapagos is long. On the first full day of travel, Pablo and Paolo packed in a lot of activity after the plane ride. On the day we returned to Quito we had one stop at a crater on our way to the airport. Once we arrived at our hotel in Quito we were on our own, that is not all bad, I was exhausted. Breakfast the following morning, day 10, was the last day we saw our travel companions.
I'd like to mention this was my first experience as a single traveler. The guests on these "active" trips have a similar mindset and are very welcoming. read less

5 Stars (505 reviews)

L Lee | April 2024

Classic South Island Adventure - April 2024

Magical New Zealand

"Our New Zealand Adventure was amazing and phenomenal. So many layers of landscape, adventures, experiences and friendships. Today we cruised the Fiourds of Milford Sound and hiked a final trek. And said "until next time" to some special people in a unique place that is truly "Middle Earth!" #activeadventures

read more

"Our New Zealand Adventure was amazing and phenomenal. So many layers of landscape, adventures,… read more

"Our New Zealand Adventure was amazing and phenomenal. So many layers of landscape, adventures, experiences and friendships. Today we cruised the Fiourds of Milford Sound and hiked a final trek. And said "until next time" to some special people in a unique place that is truly "Middle Earth!" #activeadventures read less

5 Stars (540 reviews)

L Laurie | April 2024

Netherlands Biking Adventure - April 2024

Tiptoeing through the Tulips!

"We had an extraordinary experience through the Netherlands. Initially, we were very concerned about the mileage on our bikes each day. Being 80 and 72 years old we were by far the oldest in the group. We also chose not to use an electric bike which gave us all the more of a challenge, especially during the days of relentless headwinds on a long dike. The exceptional character of our guides, Mirjam and Tom put forth a remarkable degree of effort to make every moment of our trip special. When I said my hands were so uncomfortable from cold Tom pulled out a bag of oversized winter gloves.... when Mirjam witnessed me hopelessly loosing ground biking into the strong headwinds she pedaled right beside me for miles talking with me, distracting me, encouraging me, and eventually getting me to our final stop.

The tulips were in full bloom, we enjoyed this colorful bit of nature most everyday. A cacophony of color opened up before us as we wound our way next to fields and fields of tulips, quaint villages with bridges and canals and the ever necessary dikes.

Everyday…

read more

"We had an extraordinary experience through the Netherlands. Initially, we were very concerned… read more

"We had an extraordinary experience through the Netherlands. Initially, we were very concerned about the mileage on our bikes each day. Being 80 and 72 years old we were by far the oldest in the group. We also chose not to use an electric bike which gave us all the more of a challenge, especially during the days of relentless headwinds on a long dike. The exceptional character of our guides, Mirjam and Tom put forth a remarkable degree of effort to make every moment of our trip special. When I said my hands were so uncomfortable from cold Tom pulled out a bag of oversized winter gloves.... when Mirjam witnessed me hopelessly loosing ground biking into the strong headwinds she pedaled right beside me for miles talking with me, distracting me, encouraging me, and eventually getting me to our final stop.

The tulips were in full bloom, we enjoyed this colorful bit of nature most everyday. A cacophony of color opened up before us as we wound our way next to fields and fields of tulips, quaint villages with bridges and canals and the ever necessary dikes.

Everyday was filled with a bit of culture, history, vigorous biking, wonderful dinners, and a true sense of accomplishment. read less

5 Stars (84 reviews)

P Paula | April 2024

Netherlands Biking Adventure - April 2024

Excellent Cycling Trip

"The guides, Tom and Mirjam, were amazing. Perfect mix of cycling and touring sights. They made sure to point out spots of interest and provided running commentary on the history of areas we were traveling through. We were well fed and looked forward to our rest stops.

read more

"The guides, Tom and Mirjam, were amazing. Perfect mix of cycling and touring sights. They… read more

"The guides, Tom and Mirjam, were amazing. Perfect mix of cycling and touring sights. They made sure to point out spots of interest and provided running commentary on the history of areas we were traveling through. We were well fed and looked forward to our rest stops. read less

5 Stars (84 reviews)

N Nicole | April 2024

Classic South Island Adventure - April 2024

A memorable time with incredible people and jaw-dropping scenery

"This was a trip like one I've never taken and I'd leap at the chance to go on another adventure with this group. I appreciated the small group setting where we really got to know each other. There was a great mix of team activities and the ability to be in smaller groups or be someone solo if desired. The trip was well-planned and every detail covered. Thank you for a fabulous week!

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"This was a trip like one I've never taken and I'd leap at the chance… read more

"This was a trip like one I've never taken and I'd leap at the chance to go on another adventure with this group. I appreciated the small group setting where we really got to know each other. There was a great mix of team activities and the ability to be in smaller groups or be someone solo if desired. The trip was well-planned and every detail covered. Thank you for a fabulous week! read less

5 Stars (540 reviews)

L Lauren | April 2024

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