What Is an Adventure Tour Guide?

Robert Ferguson

An adventure tour guide is a trained person hired to guide travelers through designated areas while on adventure vacations. These guides may work independently or as part of a tour guide company. The job of an adventure tour guide entails working with small groups of like-minded travelers. Group tours may be scheduled for singles, couples, or families.

Safaris are a type of adventure tour.
Safaris are a type of adventure tour.

In general, tour guides can be hired for a variety of vacations that require the services of a professionally trained guide. An adventure tour may take place in the air, on land or sea. One example of a land tour would be a safari wildlife photography shoot on the Kalahari Desert. By air, breathtaking skydiving adventures might qualify as an adventure tour. Tours at sea could include scuba diving in underwater caves or exploring sunken ships.

An adventure tour guide directs trekkers to scenic areas.
An adventure tour guide directs trekkers to scenic areas.

Adventure tour guides provide excursions on multiple continents and in numerous countries. Some of the tours specialize in different adventure activities such as hiking, biking, and walking. Tours can also be booked to include a variety of adventures from white-water rafting and kayaking to walking tours of the Serengeti.

Adventure tours may include sky diving.
Adventure tours may include sky diving.

Guides have the responsibility of setting up an itinerary for the tour and arranging accommodations, transportation, and dining locations for extended trips. For outdoor adventures, guides take care of providing equipment, provisions for meals, and equipment safety. Adventure guides stay at the same location as guests to take care of any issues and keep the group on schedule.

Whitewater rafting trips are typically led by a guide.
Whitewater rafting trips are typically led by a guide.

Transportation varies depending on the specifics of each tour. The tour guide and guests are often transported by van or minibus to the designated location. A trailer may be used to transport bicycles, camping gear, or related equipment when applicable.

A seasoned and experienced adventure guide is well versed in the tour’s activity and the history of the location. The guide should be aware of little known places off the beaten track to add to the excitement of the adventure, as well as frequently visited tourist attractions. A prime responsibility of an adventure tour guide is to ensure guests have a memorable vacation.

Qualifications for becoming an adventure tour guide include superior people skills, the ability to multi-task, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Guides must be physically in shape in order to handle long days and physical activity in a variety of environments. CPR and emergency response certification is also required for reputable adventure tour guides.

Many adventure tour companies run guided safari treks in Africa.
Many adventure tour companies run guided safari treks in Africa.

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Discussion Comments


My husband and I want to try doing some adventure travel, but we are not really the camping, or get dirty kind of people. Is there an option for luxury adventure travel?

I've heard that their are adventure cruises and it is really doing more risky things in a safe environment. I think that something like that might be more up our alley. We have kids now, so I don't think it would be good if we died in a freak bungee accident or something. We'll definitely be getting a babysitter for them when we go off on our trip. Any adventure travel trips for those more timid at heart would be much appreciated.

We enjoy things like scuba diving, and skiing, as well as things like helicopter tours of famous places.


@lonelygod - If you want to do some adventure travel in Death Valley I would suggest checking out some of the adventure tour operators based out of Las Vegas. There are also some great resources online.

When we were in Nevada we managed to book a really good Death Valley bike and hike tour through Black Sheep Adventures that was a really good deal. We just did a day trip, and I honestly don't remember if they do longer tours or not.

If you are looking for more adventure travel tips though, I would go to some of the travel forums for the USA and read some entries on the places you want to go. I am sure you'll find something that suits you.


Can anyone recommend how to find a good adventure tour company that can arrange adventure travel tours in places like Death Valley and the Grand Canyon?

My friend and I would like to start trying some outdoor adventure travel here in the US and want to find a quality tour company to work with. We've only done adventure tours and vacations abroad before, so we are imaging that adventure tours in the USA will be a lot easier, but no matter what, word of mouth recommendations are always best. We want a tour company that focuses on good budget travel and offers day trips, as well as longer vacations.

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