Inca or Everest - which active adventure suits you?

19 April 2016

Inca or Everest - which active adventure suits you?

Are you a social butterfly or a high achiever? A culture vulture or a history buff? If you're after an active adventure, it's not all about the 'active' bit. Yes, there will be a physical challenge. But there are so many travel styles and so many different parts of the world to get active in. Read on to find out what sort of trip will suit your personality.


If you are: a down-to-earth chiller

And you like:

- getting from A to B on a bike

- exploring quiet local places in depth

- the 'Indiana Jones' movies

Choose this trip: Cycle Indochina

This trip doesn't just throw in a few casual bike rides. It's a solid cycling trip, averaging about 60 kilometres a day through real local landscapes and villages. You'll be powering your own two-wheeled vehicle all the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok (well, most of the way).

You'll cycle through the Mekong Delta, explore markets, stay with a local family and visit a wildlife sanctuary – this is a down-to-earth trip for those who really want to explore Indochina up close. You'll also spend time getting amongst the world's largest temple complex, the magnificent Angkor Wat. Visiting the more remote temples, covered with vines and surrounded by fallen stones, you'll feel like a modern-day Indiana Jones. With less of a leather-jacket-and-fedora-hat vibe, more of a lycra-and-helmet vibe.

If you are: ambitious and aspiring

And you like:

- travel name-dropping brags

- extreme mountain environments

- lentils

Choose this trip: Epic Everest

There are 14 mountains on earth that are over 8000 metres. On this trip you'll lay eyes on four of them, including the big guy, Sir Everest himself. You'll be climbing to the summit of Gokyo Peak, where you can see the four eight-thousanders, and then heading on to the trek high-point of Kala Patar for a sterling views of Everest. When you get home and are doing some extreme-trekking one-upmanship with your mates, you'll have the winning hand of big-name mountains.

The sheer beauty of the Himalaya will unfurl around you as you climb further into the mountains each day. And each night you'll be staying in locally-run tea houses and tucking into the old stand-by Nepalese meal, dahl bhat – rice and lentils. It's hearty and filling after a hard day's walking and there's always more in the pot if you need it. Perfect trekking food. You'll learn to love it.


If you are: a romantic at heart

And you like:

- trying your hand at any adventure

- having free time to do your own thing

- fairytales and pointy-roofed castles

Choose this trip: Active in Slovenia

Based in the picture-perfect town of Bled in the Julian Alps, this trip will take you into a European fairytale – there's castles galore, an island church, villages nestled in valleys and a medieval pirate town. You'll hike, mountain bike, river raft and explore your way through beautiful national parks, waterfalls, thermal pools, fast-flowing rivers, caves, gorges and lakes.


There's free time on this trip to do as you like – recover from all the action with some down time or maybe head out on another adventure – canyoning, skiing, sea kayaking or city exploring. If you want to feel like a real-life Prince Charming or Rapunzel, pop on your glittery crown and climb up to Bled Castle, perched on the cliff top overlooking Lake Bled. Spectacular! (That's the view, not you in your crown.)

If you are: a history buff

And you like:

- ticking off famous travel icons

- stunning landscapes

- alpacas

Choose this trip: Inca Trail Express

Machu Picchu is one of the world's 'must see' places. This stunning Incan city, once lost in the jungle, is perched upon a spectacular mountain peak in the Andes. It's a place that you need to tick off your travel hit list – if seeing the most amazing things in the world is what you're into.

It's a place of fascinating history – there's the story of the Inca civilisation, its rise to prominence and fall into decline. There's the story of Machu Picchu, what it was for and how it was built. And there's the story of how this place was lost, then re-discovered and uncovered to become one of the world's great cultural icons. Plus there's the bonus of wandering alpacas to make your travel photos insta-classics.


If you are: a radical adventurer

And you like:

- being super busy

- trying anything once

- eating spiders

Choose this trip: Cambodia - Hike, Bike & Kayak

If you're up for anything and like to go-go-go, this could be the trip for you. You'll explore Angkor by mountain bike, walk through local villages, kayak through a flooded forest, cycle around the rice paddies of the Mekong, kayak to see the rare Irrewaddy dolphin and stay with a local family on a small river island.

And since you are up for anything, no doubt you'll be keen to sample a crispy spider snack in the town of Skuon, where these fried delicacies are part of the daily menu. These are not baby daddy long legs we're talking here – they are meaty, chewy, solid, hairy-legged tarantulas. Tuck in, radical adventurer.

If you are: a high achiever

And you like:

- training for a goal

- pushing yourself to your limits

- Toto's 1982 song 'Africa'

Choose this trip: Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

This is a straight-up trekking trip, right to the summit of Africa's highest mountain. You'll be camping along the way, and your group will have experienced guides and porters to carry the camping gear and help set up camp each day.

You need a decent level of fitness for this strenuous hike (training beforehand is recommended) but it's a reasonably slow ascent due to the serious altitude involved here. The summit of Kili is 5896 metres – that altitude is not to be taken lightly. But if you're prepared and committed, get ready to belt out “I bless the rains down in Aaaaaafrica” on the summit at sunrise.


If you are: a culture vulture

And you like:

- walking (rather than hiking up mountains)

- culture and arts

- tapas, rioja, manchego, jamon, tempranillo...

Choose this trip: Walk the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago is the traditional pilgrims' walk to the burial place of St James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The whole walk is over 800 kilometres, but for those who want to sample the Camino, this trip is the perfect way. Walk along rural roads and paths, through small hamlets, vineyards and fields, ending in a town each evening to eat and sleep at local establishments.

As well as being a classic and beautiful walk, remember, this is northern Spain – a region renowned for its amazing cuisine, rich artistic heritage and beautiful architecture. It's a rich and rewarding European experience (read: you'll eat stacks of yummy stuff) as well as being a serious pilgrim-y walk.


If you are: a social butterfly

And you like:

- meeting the local people when you travel

- getting off the main tourist routes

- those delicious crispy Vietnamese pancakes

Choose this trip: Cycle Vietnam

This trip has long cycling days, moderate cycling days and days when you wont get on your bike at all – it's a trip that makes the most of everything Vietnam has to offer. You'll cycle along cliff-lined coast, take a snorkelling trip from Nha Trang, explore cities, visit temples and feast up a storm. There's also some optional bike riding day trips for those who want to put a few more Ks in to their legs.

Riding is a great way to appreciate the beautiful scenery and to get chatting with the locals. When you are travelling at a slow pace and can stop any time, you'll be surprised just how many people you get chatting to in a day. Perfect for the social butterfly. (You might also be surprised at just how many of those crispy pancakes you can manage to put into your belly. Perfect for the very hungry caterpillar.