4 Adventure Vacations for 2015

Biking, cycling and heli-hiking await on these adventure vacations around the world By: Natalie Chudnovsky
<p title="temporary paragraph, click here to add a new paragraph">Spot wolves and other wildlife at Yellowstone National Park. // © 2014...

Spot wolves and other wildlife at Yellowstone National Park. // © 2014 Thinkstock

 Explore the wilds of Costa Rica.

Raft down a river in Costa Rica. // © 2014 O.A.R.S./James Kaiser

 Cycle the Northwest Coast of France

Bike to the island commune of Mont Saint-Michel, France.  // © 2014 Experience Plus/Keith Christian

Yellowstone Winter Wonderland
Guests are invited to put on their snowshoes and explore the icy landscape of Yellowstone National Park on the Yellowstone Multisport tour from Backrounds. Travelers will take a motorized safari through Lamar Valley, where they can spot elk, bison, bighorn sheep and gray wolves, and take photos of the Lower Falls — which often freeze in the winter. Hiking up Geyser Hill for a panoramic view and practicing double lutzes at the lodge’s ice skating pond are other possible adventures. The trip’s difficulty level is rated 1 to 3 out of 6, making it a good option for newbie explorers. This six-day tour has one departure in January, one in February and two in December of 2015, with prices starting at $3,098 per person.


Explore the Wilds of Costa Rica
River raft, hike and swim through Costa Rica on O.A.R.S.’ multisport six-day Pure Vida tour. Highlights include rafting on the Pacuare River, ziplining through rainforest canopies and dipping into the pool at the base of a jungle waterfall. Guests can relax at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, where they are likely to spot great green macaws, spider monkeys and three-toed sloths that call this region home. A guide will lead travelers to a turtle nesting site for a glimpse of a 300-pound green sea turtle laying her eggs — all 80 to 100 of them. Tours depart weekly from June 20 to Aug. 15, 2015, with prices starting at $2,299 per person. Travelers must be 12 years or older.


Multisport Tour in New Zealand
The New Zealand Rimu Multisport tour from The World Outdoors is not for the faint of heart. This 13-night trip begins with travelers snorkeling with seals. Then, guests get a chance to choose their own adventure: hiking Nelson Lakes, sea kayaking Queen Charlotte Sound or mountain biking the Queen Charlotte Track. Other highlights include hiking though limestone canyons, exploring waterfalls and sea kayaking in Okarito Lagoon, plus optional activities such as whitewater rafting, heli-hiking and bungee jumping. Prices begin at $5,398 per person, and trips depart regularly from now until April 25, 2016.


Cycle the Northwest Coast of France
Experience Plus offers travelers a chance to stretch their legs with bike tours for both novice and experienced cyclists. One great option is the tour of France’s northwest coast, which takes travelers to Brittany, Normandy and famous D-Day beaches. High points of the trip include visiting a Benedictine monastery, exploring a tidal island fortress and sampling local cider at one of Brittany’s well-preserved medieval towns, Dinan. There will also be wine tastings and visits to chocolatiers. Travelers can expect to ride an average of 36 miles a day through rolling terrain with moderate climbs. The tour departs June 20 and Aug. 22 in 2015, and prices begin at $4,750. Book by Nov. 15 to save $200 per person.