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Chile — Torres del Paine National Park


When travelling to Chile, you won’t want to miss out on the breathtaking natural wonders of Torres del Paine National Park. Among those wonders, the famous Towers of Paine are a must see.

A perfect day hiking/trekking to sight these massive sculpted granite peaks starts with a hike along dirt trails that carry you through this region’s gorgeously rugged wilderness. As you head towards the valley, you’ll pass dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers. While the first bit of the hike is meandering and relaxed, the last two miles is a slightly more challenging scramble on foot, along steep and rugged terrain, to arrive at the base of the incredible Towers of Paine. The Towers will suddenly come into full view, rising majestically before you, the sparkling glacial lake visible below. This is certainly one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. The Torres del Paine granite monoliths, at 2,900 m/9,400 ft, have been carved away by the forces of glacial ice. Sitting beneath the spires is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch as you marvel at the intense power of the natural world.

BikeHike Adventures’ “On the Trail of Chile’s Patagonia” trip includes hiking Torres del Paine National Park

Northern Vietnam — Sapa Valley

Rice Paddies with Locals

The highlights of travelling to Vietnam include not only the landscapes, but also the culture. Both of these highlights can be combined in an epic hike through the Sapa Valley.

The lush mountain range in Northern Vietnam is where you’ll find the Sapa Valley, an area rich with rice terraces and Vietnam’s most remote hill-tribes, including the colorful Dzao hill tribe. Trekking through the Sapa Valley with a local guide will allow you the opportunity to learn about these families and gain insights into their daily lives in this valley. The hike is somewhat challenging at times, as lo you may need to balance your weight on the ledges of the terraced rice paddies and a trail that traverses the steep mountainside. If you are lucky, you may be able to have lunch with locals. If not, dining on a packed lunch along the side of a stream or rice field is equally spectacular.

BikeHike Adventures’ “Active Indochina” or “Hike, Bike and Kayak Northern Vietnam” both include hiking Sapa Valley.

Ecuador – Mount Fuya Fuya

Cuicocha - Ecuador

Fuya Fuya is located 20 kilometers (12.4 mi) south of the town of Otavalo. Hiking up this mountain will lead you to a spectacular view over one of Ecuador’s hidden gems, the Lagunas de Mojanda– three pristine crater lakes located at the base of the mountain. Mojanda, an inactive volcano of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes in northern Ecuador, was last active 200,000 year ago.

A great hike to do starts from around 3,900m/14000ft and ascends to the summit of Fuya Fuya at 4,300m/14190ft. A typical area hike takes 2-4 hours and a typical hike is around 4km/2mi, making Fuya Fuya a very reasonable mountain hike, and a great introduction to the Andes before attempting even higher mountain peaks. When you reach the top though, the view of the collapsed crater of Mojanda is stunning and arguably one of the best views in Ecuador.

BikeHike Adventures’ “Andes to the Amazon” trip includes hiking Mount Fuya Fuya.

Panama – Amistad National Park


When most people think of Panama, they think about the Panama Canal, the massive manmade wonder of a canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. However, Panama boasts so much more than just this amazing canal. And a hike through Amistad National Park, Central America’s largest nature reserve, is an absolute must during a visit to Panama. Amistad National Park was carved out by Quaternary glaciers and tropical rainforests now cover most of the park. In this very special rainforest, you’ll discover more than 100 species of mammals, including many primates like the howler monkey and black handed spider monkeys, tapir, olingo and shrew. During a hike through the park, you may also witness extraordinary cultural diversity. Four distinct indigenous tribes continue to occupy the area, and archaeological sites suggest that this area has also been occupied by many millennia.

With the guidance of a local, a perfect hike lasts about three hours, taking you just deep enough into this wild paradise to experience its splendor. Wander across rustic bridges, past secondary forests and through extraordinary bamboo groves. Waterfalls and natural swimming holes provide refreshment from the heat and provide a perfect stop along the way.

BikeHike Adventures’ “Rumble in the Jungle” includes hiking in Amistad National Park.

Galapagos – Sierra Negro Volcano, Isabela Island


It’s nearly impossible to think about the Galapagos Islands without thinking about Charles Darwin’s legendary research and discoveries there.

Isabela island is the perfect place to hike around while marvelling at the land that inspired Darwin’s research, Isabela’s rich biodiversity being unparalleled. The island is home to more wild tortoises than any of the other Galapagos islands because these extremely slow moving turtles were unable to cross lava flows to the expand their territory.

Wild tortoises roam roam free across the island and can best be spotting when hiking through the calderas In fact, spotting these tortoises is often a highlight on any Galapagos trip. However, you’ll also have the opportunity to many other incredible forms of wildlife, including huge land iguanas, Darwin’s finches and many more. Along the west of the island, you’ll find the best place in all of the Galapagos for spotting whales and dolphins.

BikeHike Adventures’ land-based trip, “Galapagos Multi-sport,” includes hiking on Isabela Island.

Five Life-changing Trips

Only available to those with a local guide and connections, these are the sorts of experiences that are most likely to forever change your world-view.

Old World Charm

Vietnam Trip of a Lifetime BikeHike

Dial back time and experience Vietnam on your mountain bike,  snaking along dirt roads that carve around steep mountains, through remote villages and alongside fertile meadows. Kayak in UNESCO recognized Halong Bay, exploring hidden caves, stunning lagoons, pearl farms and fishing villages. Hike through remote villages, past terraced rice paddies, meeting locals and learning about Vietnam’s hill-tribe culture. You’ll return home with a greater appreciation for wide open spaces, a slower pace and all of the simple things in life.

BikeHike Adventures offers two multi-day itineraries in Vietnam: Bike, Hike & Kayak Northern Vietnam and Active Indochina.

Mayan Dreaming

BikeHike Guatemala Trip of a Lifetime
photo: Guatemala (on a BikeHike Adventures tour)

Explore colonial towns, visit indigenous villages, explore ancient Mayan ruins. Historically, Guatemala is the true heart of Mayan culture and has more Mayan ruins than even Mexico. Guatemala’s most famous Mayan remain is at Tikal, the largest Mayan city uncovered there and one of the grandest ever built in Mesoamerica. No matter where you venture in Guatemala, the streets are alive with modern Mayan descendants, colours and culture. Meanwhile, wandering through the colonial, cobble-stone street scenes of towns such as UNESCO heritage listed Antigua (founded around the year 1600) will remind you of the country’s more recent, Spanish history. There’s not doubt that you’ll return home from a trip to Guatemala with a greater appreciation of history.

BikeHike Adventures offers a 9 day Guatemala itinerary, including hiking Pacayo Volcano and sea kayaking Lake Atitlan among local fishermen: Guatemala Mundo-Maya Multi-sport.

Beyond Darwin

Galapagos Trip of a Lifetime BikeHike
photo: Swimming in the Galapagos (on a BikeHike Adventures tour)

The Galapagos Islands are still a hub for groundbreaking research due to their astonishing biodiversity. Bob through the ocean on sea kayaks, paddling alongside giant sea turtles, seals and bottle-nosed dolphin. Go for a hike to watch giant tortoises foraging for food. Dive in and snorkel with sea lions and turtles. Perhaps even pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center in Santa Cruz. February through March are some of the best months to visit Galapagos, as this is when the marine turtles emerge. Returning home from a trip to the Galapagos, you’ll have a great appreciation of the wonders and diversity of life on this glorious planet.

BikeHike Adventures offers a 10 day Land-based Galapagos trip year-round, visiting Isabela, Bartholome, Santa Cruz and Sante Fe islands: Galapagos Multi-Sport.

Time Capsule

Trip of a Lifetime Cuba BikeHike

Cuba is a country on the cusp of great change, its internal and external politics having taken center-stage lately, especially in the United States.  Filled with crumbling colonial architecture, vintage cars and vibrant music, Cuba is a country seemingly captured in time. The most authentic way to explore the country is by bicycle, as the country has impressive roadways but relatively few cars. Cycle beside vintage American cars and ox carts, through rural villages, colonial towns and the Cuban countryside. Cuba offers a rare blend of classic culture and raw spirit. After a trip to Cuba, you’ll likely feel quite reflective about the modernities and everyday conveniences you enjoy in your much more modern corner of the globe. You may also carry with you more than bit of inspiration from Cuba’s incredibly vibrant music and art scene. It’s nearly impossible not to be inspired by the Cuban people’s love for art, music and life in general!

BikeHike Adventures offers a 9 day cycling itinerary to Cuba, October through April: Cycling Cuba, Havana to Trinidad.

Turkish Delights

Trip of a Lifetime Turkey BikeHike

Colorful bazaars, underground cities and so much more await an adventure in modern Turkey. However, the country’s rich history is evident all around you as you explore this vibrant country. Istanbul is home to thousands of volumes of written treasures from the Ottoman Empire more than 1000 years ago. A visit here is your chance to see these rare masterpieces up close. Kayak on the Mediterranean coast alongside ancient tombs carved into the shoreline.  Mountain bike through and around the rock-cut dwellings of Cappadocia. There’s not doubt that you’ll return home from a trip to Turkey having been wowed by out-of-this-world landscapes while also being in complete awe of the world’s incredible history in this fascinating region.

BikeHike Adventures offers a 12 day Turkey itinerary, an adventurous quest through fairytale landscapes: Turkey: Cappadocia & the Mediterranean

Take Your Fitness Goals With You On Your Next Vacation

At BikeHike Adventures, we believe your vacation time is a perfect opportunity to continue pushing forward with new and exciting fitness goals, all while actively exploring the world.

During the past 21 years, BikeHike Adventures has stockpiled a number of inspiring stories about the people who have travelled with us. You’d be here reading for days, if we wrote about them all…


Michele and Glenn in Ecuador with BikeHike Adventures photo courtesy: A Life More Extraordinary blog

So, this is the story of just one inspiring couple — Michele and Glenn, both in their mid 40s — who are currently travelling with us in South America. They’ve graciously allowed us to retell their story as a beautiful example of the ways some of our travellers actually use travel as a motivator to help themselves set and maintain fitness goals. Over the past two years leading up to her current adventures with us in South America, Michele has shed nearly half of her body weight, reducing her weight by more than 130 pounds!

During her younger years, Michele says she could most easily have been described as an adventurer. A skydiving enthusiast, she couldn’t resist jumping out of planes at every opportunity, and by the age of 20, she had already obtained her pilot’s license. “[I had] a desire to see and experience all life had to offer.” Yet, she admits that if you were to view a picture of her dated more than 2 years ago, adventurer would not have been your first thought.

“Somewhere along the way I lost that spark,” she admits, as jobs and the daily grind of life took over. And then pounds steadily piled on, and her previously adventurous life remained only a distant memory.

Until one day, while planning a vacation to Vietnam, she had an AHA moment. A glimmer of her former adventurous self lit up inside as she browsed photos of Vietnam’s exotic landscapes. However, much of the trip seemed impossible as she couldn’t imagine herself biking or hiking the distances required to experience those parts of Vietnam.

“I realized, quite to my astonishment, that I had somehow become a spectator in my own life.”

Michele decided to make a change, and steadily began making very deliberate daily decisions, together with her husband, to stay active by setting health and fitness goals, both small and large. Fast forward to today, two years later, and she is 130 pounds lighter and  the couple’s dreams have steadily been becoming realities, one by one. Not only did they manage to complete that once daunting trip to Vietnam, actively biking and hiking across much of the country, but they have also just taken a 6 month sabbatical from work to hike, bike and kayak their way around South America, a way of continuing their incredible health and fitness momentum.

The couple began their 6 month trip by biking and hiking on the Galapagos Islands and in the Ecuadorian Andes, with BikeHike Adventures. While in Ecuador, Michelle wrote to tell us that one of her proudest moments so far was when our BikeHike guide told her, “Wow! I’m not worried about you on this trip. You can handle anything!” They had just accomplished a difficult, high altitude hike at Fuya Fuya, one many travellers find challenging. She said that this accomplishment really meant to the world to them, and it truly strengthened her confidence after their long fitness journey leading up to this trip.

Their next stop? Cycling the high altitude Salt Falts in Bolivia, again with BikeHike Adventures, and it is yet another challenge they are excited to face.

During her two year health and fitness journey, Michele credits travel and adventure as being a great fitness motivator.

“In many ways our journey toward health has been an adventure all on its own.”

We are so incredibly proud of Michele and Glenn’s accomplishments, and we’re equally honoured to be able to share their story about taking back control of their lives. And we’re so happy that some of our trips were able to provide the motivation and challenge they desired to keep pushing themselves further on that journey.

Michele currently chronicles their active adventures on a blog, called “A Life More Extraordinary.”


Stay Injury Free on Your Next Adventure

You’ve been looking forward to your next adventure for quite some time, and the last thing you want is for something to get in the way of your enjoying it fully. So, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your active trip, feeling fit throughout and staying injury free.

  1. Start a training program before you depart
  • If you’ve been a bit slack with the good ol’ cardio, and strength training lately, it’s a good idea to start getting some regular exercise before you head off. Ideally give yourself at least 2 months before you leave to feel the most benefits.
  • If you’re dealing with aches and pains or old injures, perhaps contact a personal trainer for specialized advice and they can also help to encourage you along while building the perfect training program for your fitness level.
  • Also, remember to train for your specific trip. If you’re going on a biking trip, get biking! If you’re going hiking, get hiking! If you want to get better at an activity, the more practice you you have at it, the better. Our bodies adapt to the demand we put on them. So, start challenging yourself!
  1. Warm Up
  • Before you head off on any activity, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles and joints and prepare your body for the activity ahead.
  • A dynamic warm up is best as it will will increase blood flow to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and enhance elasticity of these tissues to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ideally, spend 5-10 minutes warming up. A great warm up would including going for a short walk to feel your heart rate rise slightly. Then, add some dynamic stretching where you prepare your whole body for movement. Good examples would be doing arms circles and torso rotations, leg swings back to front and side to side, walking with high knees and butt kicks, body weighted squats and lunges, and jumping jacks.
  1. Hydrate and Fuel
  • Water is your best friend. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.  Remember that at the time you feel thirsty you’re body is already a little hydrated so sip on your water throughout the day.
  • Pack an “emergency” energy bar for your day’s activities, to avoid dehydrations, cramp, low blood sugar, and dizziness, and to as a way to keep your energy up.
  • Even when your activity is finished, keep rehydrating, as this will set you up for the following day.
  1. Stretch
  • Stretching is an integral part to staying fit, healthy and injury free. Spending just 5-10 minutes stretching after a full day of activities can help relieve post-exercise aches and pains, and decrease muscle stiffness.
  • With flexible muscles you’ll have greater range of motion in your joints, and you’re less likely to become injured.

Stretch your US Dollar Further in these Destinations

It always feels great when your dollar goes far while on vacation. So, here’s our hand-picked list of places to consider for your  next vacation. With a strengthening US dollar against these local currencies, it has never been a better time to plan your next adventure.  


Brazil Adventure Tour

Brazil is becoming a bargain leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympics. 
It’s never been a better time to make your plans to visit Rio de Janiero, or anywhere in Brazil for that matter. 

Brazil’s currency, the Real, has been significantly losing value against the US dollar over the last year. That means places like Rio and Sao Paulo are cheaper than ever to visit right now.

As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 3.92 BRL compared to to 1 USD : 2.32 BRL mid September 2014. 

That’s a 67% increase in the value of the US dollar in Brazil over the last 12 months.

However, you may want to start thinking about booking Brazil now, while you can lock in the best rates, as prices are likely to begin soaring again by springtime when everyone starts booking their Summer 2016 Olympics travel.



Europe travel is providing surprising value again these days, especially in Greece. However, other countries worth noting are Ireland, Croatia and Macedonia. These countries offer travellers exceptional landscapes, culture and cuisine while allowing your dollar to go quite far each day. 

The Euro (Greece and Ireland) has been losing value against the US dollar over the last year. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 0.88 EUR compared to 1 USD : 0.78 EUR mid September 2014. That’s a 13% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Euro over the last 12 months.

The Croatian Kuna has also lost value to the US dollar. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 6.7 HRK compared to 1 USD : 5.93 MKD mid September 2014. That’s a 13% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Denar over the last 12 months.

The Macedonian Denar has also lost value to the US dollar. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 54 MKD compared to 1 USD : 47 MKD mid September 2014. That’s a 15% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Denar over the last 12 months.

So, now is a good time to start planning your Europe vacation for next spring or summer while you can lock in such great deals with a strong US dollar!


vietnam adventure travel

Southeast Asia travel has always provided great value, but with a strong US dollar these already affordable destinations make it an even better time to explore the landscapes, culture and cuisine Southeast Asia has to offer!

As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 22,500 VND compared to 1 USD : 21,180 VND mid September 2014. That’s a 6% increase in the value of the US dollar in Vietnam over the last 12 months.

Countries such as Vietnam offer an internationally acceptable high standard of accommodation, some of which are even quite luxurious by North American standards, and this country is also great destinations for shopping. In fact, many people go to Hanoi for its beautiful tailors and designers where you can buy exceptional, custom designed clothing for a great price.