Adventure Travel has grown up - what used to be off the beaten track is not necessarily so anymore. But there are still plenty of trips that do things a little different and new destinations to be discovered. Here is a roundup of some adventure tours that do things a little out of the ordinary.
Bursting with a fascinating history, a strong West-African influenced culture, spectacular mountains are hallmarks of what is arguably the least discovered country in the Western Hemisphere. Take part in vodou rituals, learn about community projects, enjoy pristine nature and fantastic music. Haiti Revealed, 11 days.
Guyana & Suriname
Little travelled Guyana and Suriname hold some amazing scenery, impressive waterfalls and remarkable wildlife. Combine it with deep jungles and Guyana's hospitable people and Suriname's colonial past, and you have a destination that is both unique and inviting. Highlights of Guyana and Suriname, 14 days
Brazil's far north
Brazil is not a destination that appears on the radar of North American travellers. Which is odd as it is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world. Waterfalls, caves, jungles, sand dunes, exquisite beaches and colonial towns are but some of the highlights on Explore Northern Brazil & Amazon, 14 days. And if you cannot get enough, add the Pantanal wetlands and vibrant culture of this entire fascinating country on Ultimate Brazil.
Northern Namibia & Angola
This part of the globe is deep desert, rarely visited by travellers. It is a desert where animals roam free between rare waterholes and where people eke out a nomadic existence. Throw in the dramatic and beautiful scenery, and you have a trip that will appeal to even the most seasoned traveller. Northern Namibia & Angola, 12 days
With much of the Middle East in such turmoil, peaceful Oman is a breath of fresh air. A country of diverse landscapes, dotted by ancient fortresses, this land of Sinbad the Sailor has a fascinating, rich history. Enjoy outstanding hospitality as you explore dry river valleys, palm-fringed oases, watch greenback turtles and explore age-old markets and souqs on Highlights of Oman (11 days), then go "around the bend" to the spectacular fjords of the Musandam Peninsula (4 days).
Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia
These three Caucasus countries have only just appeared on traveller's radars. These three countries share a common history but are very different in character. Mud volcanoes, ancient mosques, lush forests and tall peaks, ancient capitals, great food and wine, spectacular monasteries, cave houses, churches and fortresses all await in this fascinating destination. Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, 17 days
Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan
While many travellers will at some point make it to the Silk Road cities in Uzbekistan, neighbouring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan see very few visitors. Sweeping mountain landscapes form the backdrop of a traditional nomadic lifestyle. While many great powers have fought and struggled over this area, life has changed very little in these remote lands. Yurts that still stand while empires have fallen are a testament to the resilience of the people.
Tajikistan Discovery, 13 days
Everyone who travels to India will visit Rajasthan and most will make it to Kerala as well. Yet India has so much more going for it. Take the north for example, with Amritsar's Golden Temple, the hill stations and its Tibetan culture, where you can journey across the Himalaya from Amritsar to Leh. Or discover the Treasures of Central India like the caves and temples at Ajanta and Ellora and the once flourishing capital at Hampi. For the ultimate Indian experience, travel to the Kumbh Mela, the religious festival that boasts the largest gathering of human beings on the planet. And in the remote north-east, tribal villages, rhinos and living bridges await in Assam and Nagaland.
Just across the border from India lies little-known Bangladesh, a land of open hearted people and chaotic cities, lush tea plantations and rainforest as well as the wilderness of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. Discover Bangladesh, 14 days.
Ultra-modern skyscrapers rub shoulders with ancient temples while ancient crafts like calligraphy endure in tiny Taiwan. Walk the dramatic Taroko Gorge and cycle around picturesque Sun Moon Lake in an area minority indigenous tribes call home. Cool mountain streams and the natural wonders of Yehliu National Geo Park complete your Treasures of Taiwan 9-day trip
The most reclusive country in the world, and the last bastion of Stalinism, North Korea has astounding natural beauty, flamboyant architecture, along with the world's most fortified border. North Korean Explorer, 8 days.
What about Europe?
Europe is of course firmly on people's travel schedule, but even in Europe you can find some very interesting and beautiful places which are surprisingly little travelled. Think of the Norwegian fjords, either by train or by ship, the Baltics, Belarus, the Balkans, Albania and the deep south of Italy.