U.S. & Canada

Mountain hiking and whitewater rafting in the Rockies. Slipping through slot canyons and canyoneering in the Desert Southwest. Fly-in wilderness lodges and wildlife watching in Alaska. Sea kayaking through a puzzle of islands in the Pacific Northwest. Birding in Texas. Snorkeling with sea turtles in Hawaii. Learning about Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellers at Mesa Verde and Civil War Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis. The U.S. and Canada are full of special, off the beaten path destinations and unique adventures and experiences. Allow us to pose our favorite multiple choice question: What’ll it be for you this year?

National Parks

We are currently building up our park entries in this section, but most of our guided trips include at least one national parkland. Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Denali, Death Valley, Zion, Crater Lake, Acadia, and the Everglades are all in Off the Beaten Path’s travel reach. And because we mean it when we say “off the beaten path,” we love making sure you experience the lesser traveled parks as well, like Big Bend, Capitol Reef, Chaco Canyon, Tallgrass Prairie—and the list goes beautifully on. So if you don’t see the park you’re interested in here, be sure to look under the relevant region (trips that include the Grand Canyon will be in Desert Southwest, trips featuring Acadia will be in New England and the Maritimes…you get the drift.)

Mexico

If you just go by the travel posters, Mexico might seem to be comprised entirely of margaritas, beaches, blue skies, and Chichen Itza. But when you venture off the beaten path, Mexico becomes a sojourn for the soul and senses—a magical place where you can find whales, lush jungles, waterfalls, cactus-laden deserts, rich arts and culture, multi-sport adventure, and Maya history stretching back through time. We can get you connected to a Mexico that bears no resemblance to Señor Frog’s, but instead opens up a land (and the Sea of Cortez!) of delightful surprise, compelling contrast, and vivid experiences. And yes, the best margaritas and beaches, for real.

 

Central America

Central America is the beckoning hammock slung between North America and South America. It’s a place of clear turquoise waters, shimmering green jungles, mysterious Maya ruins, and vibrant, deeply rooted culture.

We warmly invite you to experience Central America off the beaten path: sip your morning coffee with hummingbirds, hike lush rain forest trails as howler monkeys call overhead, snorkel one of the world’s greatest coral reef systems, canoe into an ancient ceremonial cave, and get the bird’s-eye view from treetop hanging bridges. Cap each day’s adventures and explorations with relaxing evenings at perfectly situated beach, boutique, and ecolodge accommodations. Let it snow back home in North America—it’s baby turtles in the moonlight for you.

South America

The Galapagos Islands. Machu Picchu. Torres del Paine National Park. Each of these world-renowned travel destinations deserves its place as the cornerstone for your South American sojourn—but while you’re there, we’d hate for you to miss the Mindo Cloud Forest. Or Lake Titicaca. Or an up-and-coming vineyard.

We will help you cover your bucket list goals, then whisk you off the tourist trail to round out your itinerary with off the beaten path sorts of destinations and experiences. In Ecuador, shop the markets of Otavalo, hike in Cotopaxi National Park, and explore the Andean cloud forest. In Peru, paddle out to the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca, follow the food trail to Lima, and plunge into Peru’s astonishingly biodiverse Amazon. In Argentina and Chile, anchor your adventure with wine tasting, glaciers, fabled fly fishing, and top-ten-list hiking. All along the way enjoy asados, tango shows, artisan studios, cooking and pottery classes, out-of-the-way Incan ruins, rafting, surfing, biking, and hiking. You’re definitely going to need a bigger bucket.

North Africa

North Africa is a land unto itself, culturally and geographically distinct from the rest of the continent. Bordered around its top arc by the North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Red Sea, the region was isolated for millennia by the Sahara Desert to the south, an arid expanse the size of China. As a result, North Africa’s character was most influenced over the centuries by Arab culture and its indigenous Berber and Copt peoples.

Off the Beaten Path has long-established relationships in western North Africa, working with a trusted set of guides, hosts, and cultural interpreters who can take you to the heart of this fascinating place. If you’re ready to step back in history and into the experience of a lifetime, here it is.

 

Europe

Off the Beaten Path has only recently been taking travelers across the pond. We were drawn there because we discovered the immense pleasures of hill walking and single malt tasting in the Scottish Highlands—and because we can share that place and those experiences with you in solid off the beaten path style. If you’ve never traveled with us before, we should explain that OBP style translates as cheerful naturalist guides, lesser traveled routes and destinations, and distinctive, character-driven accommodations.

We’ve been having such a lovely time in Scotland, who knows where our sense of adventure abroad might lead us next. Watch this space…

Australia & New Zealand

They’re often referred to in one breath, but Australia and New Zealand could hardly be more different. Australia is 2,500 miles across, with the great monolith Uluru rising like a ghost ship over the continent’s flat Red Centre. New Zealand is 990 miles long and 280 miles wide, comprised of head-to-toe islands backboned by volcanic peaks and the snowy Southern Alps.

Australia has koalas, wombats, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, ancient rock art, and the vast Kimberley wilderness. New Zealand has kiwis, glowworms, glaciers, and the stunning fjords of Milford Sound. Polynesian ancestors of the Maori landed in New Zealand about 800 years ago. Aboriginal people arrived in Australia more than 40,000 years ago, descendants of the earliest migrants out of Africa and possibly the oldest surviving culture on the planet.

Now. The greatest commonality between the nation-continent of Australia and island-nation of New Zealand? They are unlike any other place on earth and you have to explore them, off the beaten path.

Pacific Islands

Yes, there are white sand beaches and exquisite resorts where all you might hear is the breeze rustling your palapa’s thatched roof. We’re all for that, and we can get you right there. But the Pacific Islands are also a fascinating and rewarding travel destination for active adventurers interested in history, culture, and nature.

The Pacific Ocean holds three major island groups: Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Among them you can behold the moai on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), explore the coral reefs, cloud forests, and beaches of the National Park of American Samoa (which encompasses parts of three different islands), swim with stingless golden jellyfish in Palau, learn traditional sailing-canoe navigation in Yap, and paddle a narrow whitewater gorge of black volcanic rock in Fiji. It’s off the beaten path in paradise—authentic, exciting, and unforgettable.

Proud Partner of National Parks Conservation Association