We can’t all be Charles Veley, “the world’s most traveled man,” but for travelers planning their next journey, G Adventures is ready to help. Based on the core values of “Love, lead, embrace, create, and do,” G Adventures provides trips for all kinds of of travelers. Whether you’re seeking adventure experiences, wanting to travel as a family, looking to do some voluntourism, or to dive deeper into the culture of a place, G Adventures has a tour for where you want to go.
If you don’t have time to travel, check out their latest campaign, the G Project. One world-changing initiative will receive $25,000 to help make it a reality.
The Chengdu region of China is home to the world’s largest population of Giant Pandas. Panda reserves in and around Chengdu focus on protecting the bear’s natural habitat and researching their behavior (best job ever?). Certain reserves allow volunteers to interact with and care for these endangered species. Elsewhere in China, Beijing has some of the country’s most important cultural landmarks. Principal among them is the Forbidden City, built during the Ming Dynasty and now home to the Palace Museum. Xi’an, located between Beijing and Chengdu, has the Terra Cotta Warriors archaeological site. This necropolis was originally built for Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, and is thought to have contained over 4,000 life-size soldiers and other figures sculpted out of terracotta.
North America – Biking the wine valleys of Northern California
Almost half of the wineries in the United States are located in California, and many of those are in the valleys north of San Francisco. Wine tasting and winery tours are a drunkenly entertaining way to learn how grapes become wine, but the process involves more than crushing and fermenting grapes. One needs to see the agriculture that goes into America’s wine making, and touch the grapes on the vine, to really appreciate the drink. Work off that hangover by cycling along the winding roads of Napa and Sonoma.
South America – Volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is only home to 5% of Peru’s human population, but about 5,500 plant species and 760 animal speciesunique to Peru live here. Animal rehabilitation centers protect sections of this diverse ecosystem, and trained conservationists help create a safe place for wounded and sick animals. The goal of these reserves is to release healthy animals back into the jungle and teach visitors about the importance of the Amazon. Many encourage volunteers to become involved in the care and preservation of the Peruvian Amazon, giving them a firsthand understanding of the region’s ecological diversity.
At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It takes a minimum of six to eight days to reach the summit, during which climbers contend with not only changes in altitude, but changes in climate as well (snowstorms occur close to Kilimanjaro’s peak). But reaching the top via one of six routes is a serious achievement, and offers the chance to see both Tanzania and Kenya from above. Serengeti National Park is a five-hour drive, or short flight, from Kilimanjaro airport and is home to some of Tanzania’s biggest animals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. The park has safari lodges and campsites, and tour operators organize excursions throughout the park.
Australia – Transitioning from Outback to tropics by train
Riding the Ghan makes for a three-day transcontinental train journey over the plains, deserts, and mountains of central Australia. The route starts either near the beaches of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, or north in Darwin. In between, travelers get a sense of the continent’s changing environment as they trundle to Alice Springs, from which a six-hour drive will bring them to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Near the top of the Northern Territory, travelers can stop at Katherine and spend a day at nearby Nitmiluk National Park, a tropical counterpoint to the arid Outback.
Europe – Touring the cultural centers of Central and Eastern Europe
Paris and Rome are beautiful, but there’s more to Europe than taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and eating gelato at the Colosseum. Eastern Europe is home to castles, cathedrals, world-famous symphonies, modern art museums, and great beer, wine, and pastries. The cities of Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, and Budapest are important cultural centers with citywide art and architecture dating back to the Renaissance. Charles Bridge in Prague has been standing since the 12th century, and Vienna’s city center is home to both Habsburg architecture and modern design.
Private tour groups have been visiting Antarctica since 1969. Today there are lots of choices among operators sending ships, planes, and helicopters to Antarctica between November and March (the summer season). Many trips start in Southern Argentina, and ship-bound journeys include on-board lectures and access to experts on the ecology of the Antarctic during the cruise. Passengers can kayak around icebergs, or spend a day watching penguins, seals, and whales off the coast.
This post is sponsored by G Adventures, who run trips to the locations described below.