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Our South America Story

It was in the early 2000's that one of our enthusiastic guides decided to research offering our type of trips in South America. With a vast knowledge of South America from years spent in Costa Rica surfing and teaching English, as well as guiding tours around the continent for backpackers, itineraries were designed that we knew our clients would love. With the support of an excellent and dedicated team in New Zealand, we started and launched our South America trips in Peru, Bolivia Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Patagonia.

Now, we’ve had the pleasure of guiding thousands of happy travellers on outdoor adventures and hiking trips all over South America and we’ve always believed that an Active Adventures trip can make the difference between ‘visiting’ versus really ‘experiencing’ our destinations. 

South America our story

From the beginning...

We ran the first Active Adventures trip in 1996 with just three clients, sharing our favourite parts of New Zealand. It was a great trip with plenty of home-made trifle, long but awe-inspiring hiking days and story-telling late into the night. The next trip had a few more takers and it didn’t take long for the trips to gather momentum. Soon, we had a small team of staff to run our trips and had clients from far and wide keen to join in the adventures. For two decades now, the company has maintained its identity of running small, fun, physically challenging, outdoor adventures in destinations we know and love.

Other Active Adventures destinations

Then, in 2010, we launched our Himalayas trips. With New Zealand having a very close link to the Nepalese Himalayas (most famously connected by Sir Edmund Hilary and the Hilary Foundation) we realised how well Nepal fits the Active DNA. Before we knew it the Himalayas quickly became a very popular destination for our clients, with many of them on their second or even third Active trip!

The latest destination in which we've launched trips is Europe. In 1998 our founder made his way to Europe with a few dollars in his pocket, a surfboard and hiking boots in hand. Surfing soon took a backseat after discovering the treasures of the European Alps, and good coffee! The lure of the Alps hiking trails, rivers, lakes and villages never went away, prompting a return to live there in 2012 with his family and carve out the foundations of Active Adventures Europe. As we've kept doing over the years with all our destinations, our Europe adventure tours are the result of our personal commitment, passion and experience in every location.

The behind-the-scenes team

We have a fantastic team running the show behind the scenes - a small and focused group of multi-talented individuals. We all bring a set of unique experiences, and with our own active lifestyles, we genuinely understand what it takes to experience a journey like no other, from the moment you get in touch and beyond. We look forward to you being part of the ongoing Active Adventures story.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    We loved it! Erick our guide was super patient, knew the culture, knowledgeable, concerned with safety! We would do one with Erick again in a heartbeat!
    Linda Hunter Review Image
    – Wisconsin, United States
    Jaguar 2017, February 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    Simply said: Excellent

    We’ve booked our trip with Active Adventures from NZ but ended up with Galakiwi Adventures as the implementing party. A bit confusing at the beginning but it turned out quite well.
    Our trip through the Galapagos Islands started in San Cristobal, followed by Floreana, Isabela and ended in Santa Cruz.
    We booked an all-inclusive trip and it turned out to be a very good decision. In fact we realized only after a few days how convenient is was to have everything organized for you and how much time you can actually safe. Starting with swimming gear that is provided as part of the package. Transportation to the ferry, getting on & off, having the transportation ready when you arrive, all those organizational aspects are taken care off which makes travelling from island to island very easy and smooth. Then hotels are ready, check in & out done super fast, luggage’s pick up etc. all organized. Lunch and/or dinners arranged in advance to maximize the vacation time and reduce wasted time to a bare minimum. What else to say besides that the organization was simply said excellent!!!
    Then we had Zambo our tour guide, a fantastic & very knowledgeable person.
    Not only questions from adults were not a problem for him, our kids and the other families kids who were also part of the group constantly came up with all sorts of questions and somehow, Zambo always had an answer.
    All of this made it a great vacation; we enjoyed it a lot
    Thomas Mueller Review Image
    – Sai Kung, Hong Kong
    Tortuga, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 947 reviews)

    Nov. 2017 Condor trip with Cynthia

    What an awesome trip with one of the best guides ever. I would highly recommend this to all. The scenery was amazing, the activities were sweet, and the places stayed were top notch especially the one in El Calafate. The Refugio's were nicer than expected with ok food.
    Jim Gray Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Condor, December 2017
  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 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
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 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

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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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