Travelers who prefer an active vacation might want to try trekking tours. This form of adventure tourism means walking and hiking through an area. The trek may be trail walking in an isolated, mountainous region or walking between villages in a populated area. There is plenty of time to see scenery and talk to local people, visit attractions, and sample local cuisine. Traveling by foot may be combined with camping or, in places like India and Nepal, vacationers can take tea-house trekking tours, where they stay in village guesthouses.
Mountainous regions are popular destinations for trekking tours. Walking through the American Rockies, visiting Mount Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas, or climbing the Inca trail in Peru are popular trips. Terrain is interesting and varied, and the trip may combine a bit of climbing with hiking, requiring travelers to be in good shape. Tour companies will recommend preparation well in advance and provide guidelines. Once travelers arrive, some acclimation will be necessary to adjust to the higher altitude.
Horse trekking takes travelers through a region on horseback. Tour companies offer trips on every continent and provide horses and tack for those who do not have their own. Horse trekking tours vary from visiting a dude ranch, where guests take trail rides during the day and stay in a lodge at night, to full-fledged cattle drives. The latter involves moving animals over miles and camping out like a real cowboy. Participants should have some riding ability and be aware of their physical stamina, since riding is strenuous.
Places rich in diverse animal life such as Africa, Indonesia, and Tasmania offer wildlife trekking tours where travelers can observe animals and insects in their native habitats. Some tours take place in national park areas. From birding to observing gorillas in the wild, reputable tour companies take pains to assure travelers’ safety as well as that of the animals. Tracking reclusive animals, such as the lowland gorillas, makes for a long hike on these types of trekking tours.
Trekking tours may be taken in a group or alone. Usually there are enough people walking or climbing the trail that a solo traveler won’t lack company, especially on the more popular tours such as Everest or Machu Picchu. Quality, well-fitting hiking boots with good ankle support and proper outerwear are essential equipment. Also recommended is a comfortable pack sized appropriately for the trek, whether it is a day trip or a longer hike. The tour company will provide a list of the most useful equipment, as well as what to leave behind.