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Our Destinations and The Best Time To Travel

 

New Zealand | South America | Himalayas | Europe

We've hand picked the greatest adventure destinations in the world, and hand crafted the ultimate all-inclusive adventure travel packages. 

If you've ever considered throwing a pack over your shoulder and discovering the most wild and remote parts of New Zealand, South America, Europe or the Himalayas, then you'll know that one of the biggest decisions you'll face is choosing the best time to travel. Some people like the hottest weather, some people like it cooler, some don't mind a little bit of rain if it means having the hiking trails to themselves, and others would rather share the trail if it means they're more likely to stay dry.

As you'll already know, the Southern and Northern hemisphares have opposite seasons. North America's seasons are the opposite to New Zealand and Patagonia for example. But throw a few tropical destinations in the mix and there's no easy rule for when you should travel. So read on to see the best time to visit each of our amazing destinations. If you'd like to find out more, request your free travel brochure and we'll pop one straight in your inbox, or pop one in the mail to you today!

New Zealand

New Zealand

If you ask us, we’d say there’s never a bad time to visit New Zealand! That’s why we run trips here all year round.

During the warmer months of September through April we run trips on both Islands, exploring the absolute best parts of the great Kiwi countryside. The spring time (September through November) sees new lambs being born, wild purple Lupins blooming, longer days and warmer weather – which makes it the most popular time to visit us.

If you prefer the idea of seeing New Zealand under a blanket of fresh snow surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and under crisp blue skies, then check out our winter trips from May through September. We operate a winter ‘Kauri’ itinerary on the North Island, and two South Island adventures; New Zealand family adventure the ‘Kea’, and our wintery adaptation of our signature trip, the ‘Winter Rimu’.

 Video: This is the 'Kauri' trip on New Zealand's tropical North Island. 

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South America

South America is the world’s 4th biggest continent at 17.8 million square kilometres (6.9 million square miles). So the weather systems are drastically different across the continent. Because Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are right on the equator, and Peru also close, their climates consist of wet and dry seasons. Whereas the lower halves of Chile and Argentina are on a similar latitude to New Zealand, and so have four distinct seasons.

Peru

Best time to visit Peru

If it’s Peru you’re itching to visit, then you’ll be glad to know we run trips all year round! But having said that, there are very distinct seasons to bear in mind. If you’d like to travel in the driest months, we’d recommend anytime from May to October. This is the most popular time to visit Peru.

April and November, either side of the dry season are also popular choices as you tend to get the best of both worlds with the weather, and trails tend to be a little quieter. You can hike the Classic or Lares Inca Trail’s with our ‘Jaguar’ trips run all year round, except for the month of February when the Classic Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. But our other Peru adventures, the Peru Family Adventure ‘Capybara’ and Peru and Galapagos Explorer ‘Iguana’ trips run all year round.

Patagonia

Best time to visit Patagonia

Patagonia is a region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina, and is sparsely populated. Patagonia’s climate consists of four distinct seasons, with winters being particularly harsh. Our ‘Condor’ trips run November through to March, taking advantage of the warmest, most enjoyable and photogenic weather in Patagonia. When winter arrives, the ‘W Trail’ (which is one of our favourite hikes in the world) in the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, closes until the snow melts again in the springtime – in the month of November.

 

 

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Best time to visit Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

January through March is considered the hot/wet season. The islands are flourishing with plant life at this time, and the water temperatures are ideal for snorkelling and diving. The period from July to September is the drier/cooler season, where the water temperature drops to 21C/68F. It’s an ideal time to see the marine life as they love these cooler currents.

During the warmer months from January to June, the water is warmer and generally calmer and plant life on the islands is flourishing. However, the cooler waters and nutrient rich currents from July to December bring food and a flourish of activity to the underwater world of Galapagos. During this period, most of the animals which rely upon the ocean for their food will be breeding.

Temperatures range from 69°-84°F year-round, with January through March considered the hottest months of the year. Nevertheless, this is the wild, there is no off-season, expect to see anything, anywhere, any time!

Our Ecuador and Galapagos Islands trips run all year round. We’d recommend November through March for the Galapagos Islands, where you can expect to see sea lions having pups, the bird life is thriving, and of course you’ll see plenty of the famous Galapagos Tortoises! The weather is fairly stable this time of year - not too hot or humid, and the visibility for snorkelling is pretty good.

Ecuador’s weather generally varies based on the regional geography, but June to September tends to be warmest and driest, which is a great time for exploring the Amazon jungle, or biking down a volcano!

 Video: Take a look at our 'Jaguar' trip in Peru - it's the ultimate Peru adventure. 

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The Himalayas

Himalayas

Our Nepal adventures run August through November (which is the autumn, or fall in Nepal), and March through May (spring). In northern central Nepal we take adventurers to the Annapurna and Mustang regions. And further south we head to Everest Base Camp, near the border with China.

The months of December through February are the winter months, which are far too harsh for hiking in the Himalayas. But come March, things are warming up and the rhododendrons are blooming, then right through to May you’ll see climbers beginning their summiting attempts of Everest… which creates a real ‘buzz’ at base camp.

June, July and August are the monsoon months, meaning the Everest and Annapurna regions are too wet to enjoy hiking. But on the northern side of the Himalayas near the border of Tibet, the Mustang region sits in a dry weather pocket. So August is the best time to visit the Mustang region.

September sees the beginning of autumn (fall) which brings green, lush landscapes that are blooming from the recent rains, and crystal clear views of the mountains. From September right through to November you’ll be able to enjoy quieter hiking trails (quieter than the more popular spring months), and the local mountain villages are full of festivities.

 Video: If you're a lover of the mountains, then Everest Base Camp (EBC) is surely on your radar! 

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Europe

Europe

The weather in our Europe destinations is relatively stable and warm during the dates we run our trips (May through to September). July and August are the peak summer months – so expect the warmest temperatures (comfortably 70's and 80's Fahrenheit), but you can still expect a bit of snow cover on the higher mountains – which makes for epic photography.

May, June and September are a little cooler (which actually make for the best hiking conditions) and generally the trails are less crowded.

The Active adventures we offer in Europe are the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Italian Dolomites, Iceland and the Italian Lakes District. Each itinerary takes in the best bits of Europe’s scenery and culture. From green meadows, to towering granite peaks, forests, fine food, and fine wine. You can’t choose the wrong time to visit Europe during the summer season we operate.

Video: Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc Circuit is a classic must do!

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Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Better than expected

    I had done one group tour before and lots of hiking with my local hiking club, but this tour was beyond what I was expecting. The people, the guide, the coordination and logistics - all were fantastic and well done. Of course, what truly made the trip was the amazing location and breathtaking adventure.
    Amy Linsky Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    "Make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed"

    The Galapagos Islands turned out to be everything you hear about and more! My style of travel has never been geared towards tours or trips (EQ Type: Authentic Experiencer), however I signed up for the Tortuga trip last minute to join my parents and couldn't have been more pleased! Being a land-based tour vs. boat tour we were able to support the local economies on the various islands we visited while experiencing the authentic and incredible wildlife and landscapes the Galapagos has to offer. We got to enjoy a variety of local restaurants rather than eating the same buffet meal similar with other tours and stay in a range of different accommodations along the way. Our tour guide Pablo however, really made the trip and I am not sure if it would be quite as amazing without him. The passion, knowledge and love he has for the Galapagos Islands glimmered through every day we were with him and his smile shared with each new experience was priceless. The only disappointment of the trip was that it would have been good to know extra activities such as diving, are non-refundable if a illness or anything else comes up last minute as they often do and it may have affected our choice to opt out earlier. Saying this, I would very strongly recommend the Tortuga trip to everyone. If you every have the chance to visit the Galapagos Islands, make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed. Each day we were left amazed and utterly shocked at how much we were able to see and do with each activity. I have traveled to some pretty spectacular places around the world but this trip is a once in a lifetime experience. - Myla xo
    Myla Yeomans-Routledge Review Image
    – British Columbia, Canada
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Trip Review Condor

    The Active Adventures "Condor" trip to Patagonia and the Argentinean Andes is a "must do" adventure if you enjoy hiking around glaciers, lakes and mountains. The views are spectacular. The quality of the guides is first rate on all elements of this trip.
    Ron Nissen Review Image
    – Queensland, Australia
    Condor, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Amazing Adventure

    what an amazing adventure we had! we enjoyed every bit of our Jaguar trip and would recommend Active Adventures to anyone who asks! The trip was very well organized and the guides were all informative and amazing. Our main guide, Erick Farfan was the best! he always made sure everything ran smoothly and had to deal with many different personalities on this trip but made it all work. The Inka trail was a tough trail for me due to the altitude but what an amazing feeling once you complete it and arrive at the sun gate! We thoroughly enjoyed the jungle as well as the visit to lake titicaca and our local family that we stayed with. look forward to our next amazing adventure with you! Hoping to do Patagonia soon!
    Brigitte Rosson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Jaguar 2017, June 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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