Jim Byers Photo
India is one of the destinations you can book with BikeHike Adventures.
Here’s another cool-sounding Canadian travel company to keep an eye on.
BikeHike Adventures , a company based in Vancouver and run for 20 years by former Torontonian (and still Toronto lover, just fyi) Trish Sare, offers tremendous looking packages that promise interaction with locals in some awesome parts of the world.
In a recent visit to the city, Sare explained some of the company’s background and philosophy.
“We offer multisport holidays to some 30 destinations around the world,” she told me. “It’s mostly central and South America and some Africa, plus a fair bit of Asia, including India. In Europe we have places like Romania and Slovenia.”
Some trips offer all hiking or all biking but most are a mix.
“It used to be our market was 20 to 30-year-olds, but then it became people in their 30’s and 40’s. Now folks are active and the median is probably 50, with lots of fit folks in their 60’s or 70’s.”
Sare said biking and hiking are great ways to see a lot of a country and that they make a point of hiring local guides who help visitors get to know the “real” people in a destination.
“They might even take you to a local family’s house for dinner.”
Customers keep coming back, Sare told me.
“We have a group of women who started taking trips in their 50’s and now are in their 70’s. They’re looking at cooking classes in Croatia and Slovenia.”
Jim Byers photo
A trip to lovely Slovenia to cycle and hike , or maybe learn to cook, is a great optin when you book with BikeHike Adventures.
It used to be that rooms were all clean and comfortable 3-star affairs. But increasing numbers of folks are asking for 4-star hotels, and Sare is obliging. On the other hand, a trip to Vietnam might involve staying with a local family or a mix of that and hotels.
The average trip is 10 days, but they can adjust as needed.
Most trips are outside Canada but they do offer some trips in British Columbia, Sare said.
Trips are rated “easy,” “moderate,” “challenging” and “strenuous.” Most folks choose moderate or challenging, she said.
An easy trip might involve two or three hours of activity a day and constant presence of a support vehicle for help/emergencies. A moderate trip would have some support and likely have four to five hours of hiking or biking. A challenging trip would last a couple more hours a day, with tougher terrain and higher altitudes and perhaps no support vehicle at times. A strenuous trip might be backpacking Kilimanjaro or the doing the West Coast Trail in North America.
Trips can be customized if the dates you see on the website don’t work, she told me. They also can customize trips for just a couple people and make other adjustments.
Popular destinations include the Galapagos Islands, where I was surprised to find you could bicycle fairly extensively. They also do trips to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belize, Argentina and Costa Rica, where you can cross the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean in a raft, a bicycle, on foot and in a kayak. “You don’t even touch a motorized vehicle,” said Sare, who used to lead trips for Gap Adventures.
They supply the bicycles on a biking trip, of course.
I can’t say I’ve tried any of their trips, but they sound excellent and a lot of Canadians favour booking with a Canadian company. And National Geographic Travel has named them one of the world’s best adventure travel firms. So it’s probably worth checking out.