Planning your first (or any!) trip abroad can be overwhelming. Which country to visit, where to start and end your trip, how to get around and what it’s going to cost are just a few of the questions that spring to mind. Then, what about if you are short on time? Or don’t have anyone to travel with, but are not quite ready for the full solo travel thing? Well, fear not! This is where Group Tours come in. Organized by reputable tour companies, they coordinate everything leaving you to enjoy the experience. Sounds perfect, right?!
Well we’ve put together this run down of the best tour companies and the best group tours on every continent to help you get started. From coach tours to adventure trips, river cruises to wilderness safaris and bus tours to walking vacations there is an escorted tour to suit every travel style. And with a variety of tours for every age range from 18-30s to senior travel (and everything in between!) you’re bound to meet a great range of like-minded people on any tour. So what are you waiting for?! Scroll down now and start planning your next trip!
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Table of Contents
- 1 Organized tours are perfect for:
- 2 The Best Group Tours in Africa
- 3 The Best Group Tours in Asia
- 4 The Best Group Tours in Australia & NZ
- 5 The Best Group Tours in Europe
- 6 The Best Group Tours in North America
- 7 The Best Group Tours in Latin America
- 8 The Best Group Tours in South America
Organized tours are perfect for:
People who are Short On Time
For those short on time, an organized tour offers great value for money without the hassle or arranging anything yourself. Tour operators ensure they pack in the expected highlights whilst including some off the beaten path alternatives to make sure you get the most from your trip. This is perfect for people who get limited vacation time a year – I’m looking at you USA – And your biggest day to day decisions usually revolve around what to eat and whether to have wine or beer with your meal! Perfect for those that want an action packed break, but don’t want to have to organize it.
Even the most seasoned travelers may feel apprehensive about visiting certain destinations independently. For me, it was Africa – I was excited to visit, but having only stepped foot in Morocco in the North, the continent itself presented me with a whole heap of uncertainties. As such I decided to book myself onto a 6 week overland tour and it was absolutely the best decision I ever made.
I’ve heard similar things said about China, Japan and Russia – or really any destination where the language is not based on English characters. (Damn us native English speakers for being so comfortable that a lot of the world speak English!)
First Time or Solo Travelers
An organized tour is a great way for first-time travelers or those traveling solo to get their feet wet and gives that person time to acclimatize to the lifestyle, the food, and the destination without having to worry about anything else. There is also a built-in community with the other people on the tour which helps with the whole meeting people thing if you are shy and even better for single travelers – group tours often do not charge a single supplement (unless you are dead set on having your own room) which also helps bring the price per day down!
Organized tours are also great for solo travelers when it comes to getting to some spots that are just too damn expensive and/or highly inconvenient to do alone and where local transportation can be problematic – such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana. I mean, you can totally do that on your own, but joining a group – even for just a few days – can take some of the stress away and relieve some of the pressure of trying to negotiate with local tour operators.
Other Great Reasons to Take on Organized Tour
- Comfort – on a tour, companies normally offer a standard level of comfort that you don’t always get when traveling independently; plus this is something you can select yourself as part of your tour requirements.
- Information – the best tour companies will ensure you have all the information you need each day for the everyday running of the tour, and will hire expert tour guides for historical sites etc where extra info is expected/needed.
- Safety – whilst I never advocate avoiding travel out of fear, there is truth in the old saying that there is safety in numbers. Whatever tour company you book with, and whatever destination you travel to, they take a lot of responsibility for your safety (but you still need to keep your common sense and wits about you!) but this can be a huge stress reliever for some – if not most – people.
- Some Destinations are suited to Tours – Antarctica, Russia, China, Africa.. you get the drift! Think difficult to navigate independently and it is those places that make for a great tour destination!
With hundreds of tours on the market – and not wanting you to get that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling again, I’ve broken it down into my pick of the best tours and tour companies by continent and region. There’s adventure travel companies, National Geographic Traveler Journeys, cruise ship recommendations, independent travel tours and so much more. Hopefully this will help you narrow things down – or just give you a little wanderlust inspiration! Let me know what your favorite tour would be in the comments below!
The Best Group Tours in Africa
The Absolute Safari
Tour Operator: Absolute Africa (are one of the best guided tour companies in Africa and I highly recommend them)
Tour Length: 73 Days inc 40 Destinations
Price: from $2500USD + local payment
If you’re on a mission to ‘do Africa’ the Absolute Safari is a great way to do it. And be warned – this is not your ‘average tour’! On this ultimate adventure trip you’ll spend 73 days on an overland truck traveling through 40 destinations from Nairobi in Kenya (via the Maasai Mara!) down to Cape Town in South Africa and everywhere in between! You’ll cook on a campfire, live in an overland truck and have some of the most incredible experiences you could ever dream of – and it’s the perfect budget travel option for those wanting to make their money go further.
From seeing the big 5, meeting native tribes, tracking gorillas and rhino on foot, camping in the Okavango Delta and sleeping under the stars in Spitzkoppe. You’ll see incredible sunsets, marvel at a completely different way of life and fully understand TIA (This is Africa) especially when there is no how water and wifi! It’s truly one of the best African Safaris on the market and one of the best tours I have ever done.
RELATED: Check out What to Expect on an Overland Safari if you want to know more about life on the road.
Best of Morocco
Tour Operator: Intrepid Travel (one of the top international tour companies)
Tour Length: 15 Days inc. 10 Destinations
Price: from $938USD
Travel to Morocco and visit the best of the country’s attractions from Casablanca to Marrakech. Travel from the snow-capped Atlas Mountains to the endless sands of the Sahara, and from the medieval old town of Fes to the spice markets of Marrakech, the rich history and natural beauty of Morocco await on one of the best guided tours of the area.
RELATED: Need some wanderlust inspiration? Check out our top 100+ Travel Quotes to get you ready for your trip!
Tour Operator: Travel Talk
Tour Length: 9 Days inc. 14 Destinations
Price: from $360USD + local payment
Travel Talk are a world-renowned escorted tour operator and their Essential Egypt tour is one of the best tours on the market for the region! A fantastic tour providing the ancient wonders and essential sights of Egypt. Stand in awe of the magnificent Philae Temple and experience the life of an Egyptian. Discover the wonders of Egypt, dig deep into the amazing history, barter your way through many Bazaars and visit its centuries-old temples.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in Africa and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in Asia
The Lot Pass
Tour Operator: Stray Asia (one of the best group travel companies for independent travelers!)
Tour Length: 39-57 Days inc. 25 Destinations in 4 Countries
Price: from $1820USD
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam has got so much to offer visitors and this pass is perfect for travelers who have 2months or more to explore – and don’t want to worry about transport to the next destination during this time. Work your way around the 4 countries at your own pace with the freedom to hop on and hop off the tour as and when you want to! And don’t forget to check back here for our Asia travel guides to help with your trip planning!
Tour Operator: Intrepid Travel
Tour Length: 11 Days inc. 5 Destinations
Price: from $695USD
See beautiful henna hands, chow down on some chivda (a crunchy cereal snack), lose yourself in the labyrinth of lanes, but whatever you do don’t disrespect a cow – these are the rules of India. In a country of 1.2 billion, prepare for an overwhelming face slap of culture and diversity that is sure to stir the soul. Cities contrast between the rich and poor, old and new, good and bad. It may seem difficult at first, but the people, food and culture make it an utterly captivating destination which you will thoroughly enjoy on this Intrepid Travel Classic Journey.
Israel, West Bank & Jordan – The Full Experience
Tour Operator: Abraham Tours (READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE)
Tour Length: 12 Days inc. 15 Destinations in 3 Countries
Price: from $1087USD
Start in Tel Aviv, end in Jerusalem! It is a twelve-day combo tour combining top quality accommodation, exciting tours, great food, and fun activities. During the twelve days you’ll visit sites including Tel Aviv, a kibbutz, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the Golan Heights, Amman, Petra, Hebron, Ramallah, Masada, Ein Gedi.
You’ll also get to join a number of fun activities and events including food workshops, walking tours, traditional local campfire evening, a Shabbat Dinner, a float in the Dead Sea and tours of various neighborhoods with experienced local guides. A truly immersive travel experience on the fringes of the middle east – just remember to read our Top Israel Travel Tips before you go!
Tour Operator: Wanderlands
Tour Length: 12 Days inc. 8 Destinations
Price: from $1560USD
If you are interested in exotic destinations, this tour is for you. In your 12 days you will see amazing sights, explore stunning beaches, splash around in waterfalls, swim with whale sharks, snorkel the crystal clear waters, discover the Filipino culture and enjoy the best sunsets of your life. Meet the locals, kayak through caves, take the leap of cliff jumping, relax in a lagoon, indulge in delicious food and party the night away and the best part is that you’ll be doing it all with a great group – the perfect way to meet new people, make friends and share the experience.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in Asia and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in Australia & NZ
Tour Operator: TopDeck
Tour Length: 14 Days inc. 12 Destinations
Price: from $2,223USD
Craving sunshine? Then come travel Australia with us and you’ll get more of the warm stuff than you know what to do with! Begin amid the tropical charms of Cairns and make your way south to the vibrant streets of Sydney, swapping island sailing and beaches with cattle stations and the Outback along the way! Definitely of the best tours available in Australia and New Zealand!
RELATED: Pretty set on hitting up the East Coast of Australia but don’t want to be restricted by the same route everyone is doing? Build your own East Coast Custom Tour and make sure you hit all the spots you want to!
Perth To Broome
Tour Operator: Intrepid
Tour Length: 10 Days inc. 9 Destinations
Price: from $1,186USD
Australia’s west coast boasts some of the world’s best beaches that are relatively untouched by tourism and set against a backdrop of rugged outback terrain. This unique Perth to Broome tour brings you face-to-face with the region’s natural wonders and exposes you to a rich and colourful culture. West Australia’s coast and desert regions are vast, amenities sometimes sparse and isolation palpable, but the rewards are rich beyond belief. The travel experience of a lifetime!
Adelaide to Perth Wildlife Adventure
Tour Operator: Nullabor Traveller
Tour Length: 10 Days inc. 16 Destinations
Price: from $1,284USD
Combine Australia’s ultimate road trip with incredible wildlife encounters on this 10 day swag camping adventure! Swim with dolphins & sea lions, hike national parks, swim in pristine beaches, sand boarding, walk ancient forests and have one of Australia’s best indigenous cultural experiences. This is one of the best travel deals on the market – check out the prices below!
Amplified NZ Tour
Tour Operator: Haka Tours
Tour Length: 16 Days inc. 13 Destinations
Price: from $1,989USD
A true adventure tour and a jam-packed experience across New Zealand’s top destinations in just over two weeks. Golden beaches, Maori culture, surreal landscapes and a big dose of adventure is all yours. Visiting both the North and the South Island, this tour certainly packs a punch and shows you the best of what NZ has to offer.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in Australia & New Zealand and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in Europe
Quest To London
Tour Operator: Contiki
Tour Length: 18 Days inc. 9 Destinations
Price: from $1,869USD + $270 Food Fund
If you’re in search of some serious culture & ticking things off your bucket list this is the trip for you and can be described as an epic travel experience. Start in the Spanish hub of Barcelona and work your way along the coast through the sophisticated French Rivieria & onto beautiful Italy for iconic sights, world famous eats & some good times with your new Contiki mates. Head north through Salzburg & Prague before hitting the uber cool Berlin & Amsterdam.
Tour Operator: Expat Explore
Tour Length: 18 Days inc. 15 Destinations
Price: from $1,960USD
18 unforgettable days of European highlights, including Paris, Avignon, Barcelona, Monaco, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Venice, the Swiss Alps, Rhine Valley and Amsterdam
The Best of Eastern Europe
Tour Operator: G Adventures
Tour Length: 15 Days inc. 7 Destinations
Price: from $1,954USD
From fairytale Czech towns to Budapest, the “Pearl of the Danube,” experience the unique culture, food, and history of Eastern Europe. This two-week trip through five Eastern European countries offers an intriguing combination of urban centres, village life, and outdoor pursuits. Visit castles, churches, and romantic town squares, indulging in Berlin’s café culture and Prague’s beer.
RELATED: START PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP WITH OUR ULTIMATE TRAVEL PACKING LIST!
Tour Operator: Avalon Waterways
Tour Length: 11 Days inc. 3 Destinations
Price: from $1,559USD
No list of group tours is complete without featuring the beautiful European rivers and Avalaon Waterways Cruise Line are the only choice when it comes to river cruising. This particular cruise takes you along the Rhine River, which begins in Switzerland and stops in France, Germany, and Holland – but they also have cruises along the Danube River if you fancy exploring more of Eastern Europe.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in Latin America and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in North America
Road Trip on Route 66: NYC to LA!
Tour Operator: Discover Nomads
Tour Length: 14 Days inc. 6 Destinations
Price: from $3,027USD
The most exciting adventure through all significant and atmospheric cities of America by car along the legendary Route 66, you will see skyscrapers in New York, enjoy jazz in Chicago, hike in Grand Canyon, party in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
RELATED: Got 3-4 weeks? Check out this self drive coast to coast road trip itinerary – LA to NYC via the South!
Eastern Discovery (Dep. NYC)
Tour Operator: Contiki
Tour Length: 14 Days inc. 8 Destinations
Price: from $1,792USD
Contiki’s Eastern America tour will give you action and adventure, as well as time to chill out and unwind. From the relaxed beauty of the Southern States to the fast-paced lifestyle of the Northern hotspots, get a good taste of America! While you’re up north, why not explore the Nations’s capital in Washington DC or get consumed by the city that never sleeps, New York. And down South, get charmed by some traditional southern hospitality.
Tour Operator: Trek America
Tour Length: 14 Days inc. 10 Destinations
Price: from $1,560USD + $140 food kitty
This two week West Coast USA tour will knock your socks off as you experience some of the highlights of Western USA. Be blinded by the bright lights of Las Vegas, feel the heat as you step foot into the hottest place on Earth, Death Valley National Park, gaze up at the magnificent Giant Sequoias in Yosemite and then head to San Francisco for a stroll along the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Finish by topping up your tan on some of those gorgeous Californian beaches along the Pacific Coast… Now that’s what we call an adventure through the west coast of the United States!
Southern Adventure (Dep. New Orleans)
Tour Operator: Contiki
Tour Length: 13 Days inc. 9 Destinations
Price: from $1,676USD
Take a venture to the South where a distinctly different American culture will lure you in. Deserts and canyons will pleasure your eyes while cowboys and jazz bars will liven your nights. Kicking off in New Orleans and ending in Los Angeles, with highlights like Memphis, the Grand Canyon & Texas in between. This is one of the best travel tour groups to get to the heart of the deep south in the United States!
Tour Operator: Trafalgar (they are one of the best escorted tour companies in Canada)
Tour Length: 7 Days inc. 7 Destinations
Price: from $1,760USD
Start and end in Calgary! With the wildlife tour Canada’s Rockies, you have a 7 day tour package taking you through Calgary, Canada and 6 other destinations in Canada including Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper! This tour includes accommodation as well as a travel guide who is a destination expert, meals, transport and more.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all guided tours in Latin America and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in Latin America
Central American Journey
Tour Operator: G Adventures
Tour Length: 32 Days inc. 18 Destinations
Price: from $2,952USD
Escape the resorts and discover something extraordinary in Central America. Starting in Mexico and finishing in Costa Rica you’ll visit six countries on this small group adventure and experience mighty ruins, clear Caribbean waters, rainforests, and breathtaking scenery along the way. Explore indigenous Mayan villages and meet locals for an immersive experience that few world travellers get to know. While you’re free to choose your own adventure, your accommodation and transportation are included.
8 Day Cuba Discovery
Tour Operator: Cuban Adventures are a local operator and as such the best tour company in Cuba
Tour Length: 8 Days inc. 4 Destinations
Price: from $414USD + $200 local payment in CUC
If your time is limited, and you are more interested in Cuba’s culture and its people than beach resorts, then we highly recommend this 8 day small group tour of Cuba. In one short week, its an optimised way to sample some of the most interesting areas of Cuba within a day’s drive from Havana. The tour takes your from the bustling and vibrant Havana, to the historic Santa Clara, and gives you the chance to experience the more traditional and rural sides of Cuba, with stays in Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Viñales.
Best of Guatemala & Mexico
Tour Operator: Intrepid (are one of the top rated tour companies across many countries)
Tour Length: 13 Days inc. 6 Destinations
Price: from $1,140USD
Travel from the cobblestone streets of Antigua, through Belize and along the Yucatan Peninsula to the beachside delights of Playa del Carmen on this Guatemala to Mexico adventure. Discover ancient Mayan ruins, explore the pristine shores of the Caribbean coast, be enchanted by Guatemala’s highlands and find colourful marine life in laidback Belize. From volcano studded Antigua to the chilled out charm of Mexico’s coast – this tour delivers a slice of action, a dose of history and culture, and some well-deserved relaxation.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in Latin America and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
The Best Group Tours in South America
Lima to Rio de Janeiro
Tour Operator: Oasis Overland (one of the best travel companies for South America travel with a wide range of tour options)
Tour Length: 88 Days inc. 30 Destinations
Price: from $4,308USD + $1820 Local Payment
A true expedition by nature of its long duration and some of the remote places we visit. You must expect a degree of hardship, some long drives on rough roads, camping and cooking in extremes of climate…but in the process you will discover the real South America and meet people you would never otherwise encounter.
In Search of Iguassu Falls: Buenos Aires to Rio
Tour Operator: G Adventures
Tour Length: 17 Days inc. 7 Destinations
Price: from $2,252USD
Get your South American rush with other young travellers not afraid to embrace the new. You’ll kick off the adventure in sophisticated Buenos Aires before getting back to nature on day hikes at a working Uruguayan ranch. Marvel at Iguazu Falls, then hop on a flight to São Paulo on your way to the Brazilian coast—no gruelling bus ride means more time on the beach. We’ll wrap up in the party in Rio, where you’re free to embrace the carnival atmosphere from our centrally located Copacabana hotel.
Peru, Bolivia & Chile
Tour Operator: Tucan Travel (and who are another one of the best tour companies across multiple continents.)
Tour Length: 15 Days inc. 10 Destinations
Price: from $3,002USD
Jumping from one country to the next, this short tour takes in three countries in just two action-packed weeks. From Cuzco’s historic centre to the Salt Flats of Uyuni and the modern metropolis of Santiago, you will get a good taste of the continent and whet your appetite for another visit.
Lima to Buenos Aires
Tour Operator: G Adventures (one of the top organized tour companies with 18-30 somethings!)
Tour Length: 35 Days inc. 16 Destinations
Price: from $3,699USD
South America rewards those willing to explore. Consider this epic adventure: beginning in Lima and ending in Buenos Aires, it’s 35-full days of fun. You’ll hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia by 4×4, and feel like a sophisticate sipping wine in Argentina. Along the way, you’ll engage with local cultures with a small group of other young travellers to back you up. For those willing to invest their time, this trip offers big returns—in adventure.
Didn’t see a tour that interested you? Why not compare all tours in South America and pick out one that’s perfect for you:
And that’s a wrap folks! There are more incredible tours here than you can shake a stick at – all of which are designed to help you save money whilst still having an incredible experience – and I hope we’ve found one that’s right up your alley. There are also plenty more available on the TourRadar Website if we haven’t found your perfect tour here. I trust you’re now all busy planning your next adventure – let me me know in the comments which one is you’re favorite – or even better – which one you booked! And don’t forget your travel insurance!
And if you don’t mind sharing the love, a tweet, flip, or Facebook share would be much appreciated! Happy Travels!
And if you liked this guide to the best tour companies + best group tours on every continent, take a look at the other packing tips & travel gear and travel inspiration posts in this series:
- The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List – keeping you and your care happy, entertained & healthy on the road
- The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List – packed full of ski essentials to help you have the best time on the piste
- How to Pack your Carry On Like A Pro – full of travel tips to make the most of those pesky weight and space restrictions!
- The Ultimate Cruise Packing List – because when you only have to unpack once, you’re going to make sure you have everything you need!
- Stylish and Affordable – The Best Carry on Luggage for Frequent Travelers
- Get Inspired: 80 Adventure Quotes to get you fired up!
- South Pacific: Cruise the Solomon Islands or Head to the incredible island of Samoa!
Hi There! Thanks for reading our post about the The Best Group Tours on the Planet + The Best Tour Companies To Take You! I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.
Vicki is the Lawyer turned Content Creator, Editor-in-Chief and all round Boss Lady at MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.
She has lived and worked in 7 different countries and started the site to show everyone that it is possible to travel whilst holding down a full time job (because not everyone can – or wants to – quit and walk away from it all).
Her style of travel has always been to get the best out of a destination as a time poor traveler making the most of limited vacation days and all without breaking the bank; BUT she does know where to save and where to splurge to have the most incredible travel experiences – such as luxury hotels and over-water bungalows, safaris, spas and more(!) – where the situation calls for it.