REI's award-winning travel company, REI Adventures, known for guiding groups through iconic destinations around the world, announces its new action-packed adventures for 2010. As with all REI Adventures, the new trips blend education, action and unforgettable experiences in some of the world's most exotic locales.
From getting to know local cultures and the destination's flora and fauna, each new adventure ensures travelers make discoveries they could not duplicate on their own or with another travel company. Whether it's hiking around volcanoes in Southern Italy or coming face-to-face with an endangered pink dolphin in the waters of the Amazon rainforest, REI has adventures that fit the dreams and desires of most any active traveler.
â€œREI Adventures added new trips for 2010 based on member feedback across a variety of activity levels and regional offerings,â€ said Cynthia Dunbar, manager of REI Adventures. â€œThe entire REI Adventures team has taken great care in creating these trip itineraries, ensuring we're delivering one-of-a-kind experiences in incredible destinations and at a great value.â€
Few, if any, travel companies account for the environmental impact of their customers' travel, including airline transportation. REI Adventures addresses this impact to the planet by partnering with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offer one of the nation's leading carbon-neutral travel programs. Through the purchase of Green-eÂ© certified renewable energy certificates, REI Adventures offsets all of the climate-change impacts of its trips, including guests' flights to the destination, at no additional cost to travelers.
New 2010 trips are ready for booking immediately. Each trip, rated on a scale of 1 (relaxed) â€“ 5 (strenuous), varies by activity level so guests can easily choose an REI Adventure that's best suited for them. For a more intimate experience with a select group of people, guests can also book private departures such as family reunions, girlfriend getaways or corporate retreats. For more information on private departures or current promotions, visit www.rei.com/adventures.
REI Adventures New Trips for 2010:
San Juan Islands Family Adventure, Washington State
Six Days, Activity Level: 3
REI Adventures' newest family adventure was created especially with children in mind. Washington's San Juan Islands are the ideal destination for memorable family vacations. On this trip guests' bike and paddle along some of the islands' best routes while learning about amazing marine mammals firsthand.
San Juan Islands Multisport Adventure, Washington State
Six Days, Activity Level: 3
Nature-lovers will hike, bike and paddle around Washington's San Juan Islands on this sustainable multisport adventure. Travelers also enjoy stunning views, amazing wildlife and locally sourced organic meals prepared fresh daily by REI Adventures' guides. As a bonus, the group may also experience an unforgettable whale watching tour as they actively explore the best that the San Juan Islands have to offer.
Cycling the Loire Valley, France
Six Days, Activity Level: 3
Adventurers cycle through fields of sunflowers and explore the many awe-inspiring chÃ¢teaux that dot the countryside through the â€œGarden of Franceâ€ on this memorable cycling tour of the spectacular Loire Valley. Cyclists will appreciate the protected, paved cycling paths and full vehicle support along the way. Local cuisine and wine tastings make this trip the ideal French experience.
Vesuvius to Etna: Hiking Southern Italy's Volcano Route, Italy
10 Days, Activity Level: 3
This action-packed adventure begins in the vibrant city of Naples where the group explores the city's historic sites and bustling squares. The trip then continues to the summit of Mount Vesuvius while REI Adventure guides share knowledge of the mountain's geological and natural history. Guests also explore the ruins of Pompeii and hike along the â€œPath of the Gods,â€ enjoying views of the entire Amalfi coast. An overnight ferry transports the group to the dramatic Aeolian Islands of Stromboli and Vulcano, and the adventure culminates in Sicily with a memorable hike up Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano.
Andes to Amazon Multisport, Ecuador
11 Days, Activity Level: 3
This trip travels from the high Andes to the lush rainforest of the Amazon Basin. Guests hike and bike along Ecuador's â€œAvenue of the Volcanoes,â€ and enjoy comfortable stays in centuries-old haciendas along the way. While exploring the Amazon, the group searches for black caimans, monkeys, poison dart frogs and hundreds of species of birds, and also kayaks to a jungle lodge owned and operated by the local Kichwa people.
Hiking from the Eiger to the Matterhorn, Switzerland
Nine Days, Activity Level: 5
This is one of the only tours that links the Bernese Oberland to the Matterhorn. Guests hike two of the most notable destinations in the Alpsâ€”Zermatt and the Jungfrau. The Jungfrau region is
dominated by the north face of the Eiger, one of the most spectacular and formidable mountain landscapes on earth. Zermatt lies at the base of the Matterhorn, one of the most recognized peaks in the world. Magnificent views, classic Swiss alpine villages and unparalleled panoramic vistas make this adventure incomparable.
Weekend Getaway: Edisto River Kayaking, South Carolina
Four Days, Activity Level: 3
The Edisto is one of the most pristine and majestic rivers in the United States and the largest protected fresh water basin in the world. This tour unlocks the hidden mysteries of this wild and scenic area in a remote section of the black water wilderness. Groups sleep comfortably on the banks of the river in â€œeco-chicâ€ Edisto River tree houses, built high above the river bed, while being serenaded by the amphibious orchestra of frogs and barred owls.
Weekend Getaway: Superstition Mountains Backpack, Arizona
Four Days, Activity Level: 3 - 4
Home to the legend of the â€œLost Dutchman's Gold Mine,â€ the Superstition Mountains have long been considered one of the premier hiking destinations in the southwest. This rugged desert terrain is highlighted by an abundant display of giant Saguaro cacti, bright yellow lichen, and unique flora and fauna. This trip traverses the northbound one-way through-hike into deep narrow chasms where travelers explore the eroded rock spires and blocky sheer walled mesas. The group also deciphers ancient Apache petroglyphs, discovers hidden 19th century gold mines and enjoys unmatched desert beauty.
About REI Adventures:
Award-winning REI Adventures has been a global leader in worldwide guided active adventure programs since 1987. The company offers unique itineraries focused on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventure; hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and more. Guests will experience iconic destinations as guides take them off the â€œbeaten path,â€ and provide opportunities to explore a destination, get to know the local people, their culture, the flora and fauna and discover things they would not be able to duplicate on their own or with another travel company. REI members receive a special discount list price on all trips. For more information, full itineraries and power reviews provided by guests, visit www.rei.com/adventures.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.