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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

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 947 reviews)

    Simply Awesome

    Incredible doesn't cover it. This trip gave a truly comprehensive Patagonia experience. Congratulations must go to whoever designed the sequence/structure. Each day presented us with a never-to-be-topped experience, promptly upped a notch the next..for the FULL trip duration!! No faults with accommodation, meals, transportation etc. Jay was absolutely awesome (I'll be running out of superlatives soon). Personable, great leader, communicator and guide. No problem ever became a problem. He and his brother Gem made this a real ILE (incredible life experience). Still don't know how he managed to arrange for the variety of weather and wildlife. For anyone thinking about doing this trip - don't think, DO. And I would recommend Active adventures!
    Justin de Beer Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Condor, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 947 reviews)

    Condor - incredible Patagonia with great guides

    Patagonia, both Chile and Argentina are absolutely breathtaking. The itinierary of the trip ensured that we saw all the major sights, and experienced the hiking, food and culture of both countries. Our main guide Jait, was very knowledgeable and worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone on the trip were included, whilst keeping the mood light, and everyone's spirits high. This is the way to see and experience Patagonia with Active Adventures it is an excellent trip.
    Varina Nissen Review Image
    – Queensland, Australia
    Condor, January 2018
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 82 reviews)

    2017 Iguana Trip

    The Peru portion of the trip with Erick was spectacular. Erick's attention to detail, compassion for each individual on the trip and genuine love for Peru made this portion of the trip absolutely amazing.
    JoJo Tadich Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Iguana, September 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    BEST TRIP EVER!!!

    This trip was a dream come true with a BIG unexpected surprise...I swam with a whale shark. Active Adventures has thought of everything. You need to bring your clothes, quick dry is a must, and personal items. All activity amenities are supplied, including a long or short sleeve wetsuit. If you use a prescription mask in the water, bring it along. All the work is done for you. Your guide will let you know what time to be ready and off you go. Everything ran on time, no waiting for anything (once we did wait 4 minutes at the airport for the van). Even meals were ordered ahead and served within a few minutes of sitting down. We ate at many of the best restaurants. I felt like a princess. The Galapagos animals even did their part by 'posing' for great pics. We saw all the great sites while our guide educated us on the topic. Our guide, Pablo, is amazing.

    The whale shark...while boating between islands, we saw a group of dolphins. Then, we saw the whale shark. Pablo handed out mask a few of us gently jumped in the water to 'swim' with the 30ft long animal. Yes, we have videos thanks to our boat captain and one person with a go pro.

    Active Adventures does it right.
    Kim Tetzner Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Tortuga, February 2017

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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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