In a year where social distancing has become the norm, outdoor adventure travel has exploded in popularity. 10Best set out to find the best adventure tours – boats, helicopters, rafting trips, hot air balloons, trains, kayaking and cycling excursions – and adventure travel companies to help you plan your ultimate trip. After four weeks of voting, we have our winners.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best Adventure Travel Company: MT Sobek
MT Sobek leads adventure tours around the globe — Photo courtesy of MT Sobek
MT Sobek have been leaders in the adventure travel industry for more than half a century. Today, travelers can choose from some 200 journeys designed to inspire and exhilarate, with interest categories like Family Adventure, Women’s Adventure, Cruising, Wellness, Hiking & Trekking or Rafting & Kayaking.
Best Boat Tour: Waco Tours in Waco, Texas
This is the second win for Waco Tours — Photo courtesy of Waco Tours
A river cruise with Waco Tours takes you on a 2.5-hour ride along the serene Brazos River in the heart of Texas. Learn about the history and people of Waco as you see the city from the water and spot local wildlife on the riverbanks.
Best Kayaking Tour: Rising Tide Explorers in Naples, Florida
Explore Naples and Marco Island with this winning tour company — Photo courtesy of Rising Tide Explorers
Certified local biologists lead every tour of Naples and Marco Island with Rising Tide Explorers. Paddle through mangrove tunnels and past mudflats in search of Southwest Florida wildlife, or glide through the waters of Rookery Bay Reserve for some spectacular birdwatching.
Best Cycling Tour: Pure Adventures
Winning company offers self-guided and small-group adventures by bike — Photo courtesy of Pure Adventures
Every trip with Pure Adventures is private and tailored with custom experiences, whether you’re cycling the Cabot Trail of Nova Scotia, taking a self-guided rails-to-trails ride through the South Dakota Black Hills or exploring the desert scenery of Arizona.
Best Helicopter Tour: Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters
See the Grand Canyon from a whole new perspective — Photo courtesy of Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters has been flying visitors to the Grand Canyon since 1965. The fleet includes oversized windows for better views, and the company enjoys access to three exclusive landing sites on the canyon floor.
Best Hot Air Balloon Ride: Rocky Mountain Hot Air
Winning company flies high above Colorado — Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Hot Air
Hot air balloon flights with Rocky Mountain Hot Air typically include an hour of air time above the Chatfield State Recreation Area in Colorado. Each flight culminates in a celebration with a certificate of ascension and a balloon pin.
Best Scenic Train Ride: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Winning train travels between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado — Photo courtesy of Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
One of the most authentic steam-operated railroads in existence, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs for 64 miles between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado, passing through the San Juan Mountains and the scenic Conejos Valley along the way. This moving National Historic Landmark represents one of New Mexico's most spectacular day trips.
Best Rafting Tour: Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours
Explore the rivers of Colorado, Utah and Arizona — Photo courtesy of Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours
Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours leads trips in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, with a river for just about any thrill level and lasting anywhere from two hours to five days.
Congratulations to all of our adventure tour winners. Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in other Readers' Choice categories.