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TripAdvisor Takes a Walk on the Wild Side With the Top 10 Adventure Tours in the World

Exhilarating Expeditions Offer Extraordinary Excitement and Spine-Tingling Thrills

NEWTON, Mass., July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced its top ten adventure tours across the globe, according to TripAdvisor travelers and editors. Offering exhilarating fun and amazing experiences, these tours offer unique ways to explore and learn about diverse landscapes around the world.

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1. Aquatic Adventures: Living the Dream Divers, Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

Divers of all abilities will be in their aquatic element on this coastal tour. Whether travelers prefer to take the plunge and scuba dive among sea turtles, nurse sharks, and moray eels, or simply snorkel in the shallow waters of "Stingray City," this tour caters to all seeking an ocean adventure. Marine-life fanatics will enjoy bobbing in the balmy water as southern sting-rays and schools of tropical fish surround them. "From the boat, to the people, to the service, it was all exceptional," a TripAdvisor traveler said. Tours cost from $65 per person.

2. Heart-Stopping Heights: Hang Gliding Interlaken, Interlaken, Switzerland

For thrill-seekers in the Swiss Alps, the sky is the limit with this over-the-top tour. Travelers can choose to enjoy a smooth, scenic flight or a wild ride with extreme dives and wingovers, while getting close to the clouds and taking in some breath-taking views of Switzerland. As proof of one's daredevil status, an in-flight DVD is available for purchase. As one TripAdvisor traveler commented, "It's a bird's eye view of one of the prettiest places on earth!" Tours cost $235 for a 10-25 minute ride.

3. An Enormous Excursion: Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Visitors at the Patara Elephant Farm will discover what it's like to be an elephant owner for the day, as they bathe, feed, and learn about the health and preservation of these magnificent mammals. After becoming acquainted with their very own gentle giant, travelers will ride bare-back to a local Buddhist temple before frolicking in a nearby waterfall with their new four-legged friend. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "This is not just an 'elephant ride' experience. It is so much more." Tours cost $140 per person.

4. A Trip on the Zip: Selvatica Canopy Expedition and Adventure Tour, Cancun, Mexico

Travelers can experience the Yucatan Jungle in high-speed on this Caribbean canopy adventure. Tour-goers will gear up to ride the self-proclaimed fastest high-wire zipline in Mexico, while night owls can choose to zip under the stars on a "night flight". For those looking for a bumpier ride, mud-lovers can rev their engines on Selvatica's ATV tour across the forest floor. After adrenaline levels fall back to Earth, adventurers can unwind in the emerald green waters of a jungle cenote. A TripAdvisor traveler said, "Tons of fun and worth every penny!" Tours cost from $99 for adults and from $49 for children.

5. The Wall Less Traveled: The Great Wall of Jiankou - The Great Wall Hike, Beijing, China

For travelers seeking seclusion and an adventure that is off the beaten path, the Jiankou Great Wall Hike is a giant step in the right direction. While the restored areas of China's Great Wall are easy to access and heavily traveled, tourists on this six-hour hike will experience untouched, isolated spots of this historic landmark. A sturdy walking stick is required, but the exclusive views make each step of the journey worthwhile. As one TripAdvisor traveler noted, "It's magical to be alone up on the Wall rather than surrounded by other tourists!" Tours cost from $180 to $275 per person.

6. Temperate Trek: Desafio Adventure Company, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

This Central American tour offers daredevils a diverse menu of thrills. Travelers can try their hand at canyoneering and rappel down a flowing waterfall, before following the river bed through deep gorges surrounded by lush vegetation. Intrepid hikers can venture to the edge of the Arenal Volcano National Park, where molten lava can be seen flowing from the volcano.  Options for animal-lovers include journeying through the rainforest on horseback and mingling with monkeys, toucans and sloths. "Absolutely the best tour company with the most awesome guides," noted a TripAdvisor traveler. Tours cost from $28 to $120.

7.  Rapid Rush: Jackson Hole Whitewater, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This family-friendly white-water rafting tour features an eight-mile excursion down the Snake River allowing adventurers to paddle their way through the winding rapids or sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Travelers up for a challenge can take part in an eight-person raft trip, during which raft-riders are required to pull their own weight while paddling vigorously along the twists and turns of the meandering river. "Best adventure in Jackson Hole," a TripAdvisor traveler said. The "Classic" tour costs $60 for children and $70 for adults; and $75 for the eight-man raft trip.

8. Slippery Stroll: Exit Glacier Guides, Seward, Alaska

This Alaskan tour company offers travelers an abundance of icy adventures, including an ice-hiking expedition which begins in Kanai Fjords National Park. Hikers should keep their eyes peeled as they ascend into the mountains and learn about the area's unique vegetation and glaciology – black bears, moose and marmots are often spotted along the trek. Those willing to explore further can embark on a glacier climbing junket, where they will gear up with the necessary apparel, before delving into the hidden crevasses of Alaska's frozen tundra. A TripAdvisor traveler described this tour as an "Out of the ordinary experience." Tours cost $125 per person.

9. Fearless Fun: The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Travelers can explore the dark depths of New Zealand's Ruakari Cave during the five-hour "Black Abyss" expedition. Adrenaline junkies will rappel down a 35-meter crevasse, before experiencing the darkness of this subterranean wonderland, which is dimly illuminated by thousands of glowworms. Adventurers opting for a shorter outing can embark on the "Black Labyrinth" tour, which sees travelers climbing and tubing along a winding underground river surrounded by cascading waterfalls. A TripAdvisor traveler called this tour, "An amazing, unique experience!" Tours cost from $115 to $200 per person.

10. Deep-Sea Delights: North Shore Shark Adventures, Haleiwa, Hawaii

Over the course of two hours, travelers on this tour will explore the waters of the pristine Pacific... and have first-hand encounters with some of its finned denizens. After setting sail from Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor and traveling three miles offshore, risk-takers are invited to enter a secure metal cage from which to explore life below the sea. The clear, cobalt water allows tour-goers to see 200 feet in the distance, giving travelers an up-close experience with spectacular sharks, dashing dolphins and sluggish sea turtles. A TripAdvisor traveler said, "A fantastic time! A must-do bucket list item!" Tours cost $96 for adults and $60 for children.

"With travelers seeking outdoor activities during the summer months, these adventure tours offer unforgettable experiences and provide stories to last a lifetime," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and Instant Personalization) with seamless links to booking tools.

TripAdvisor® Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 18 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 45 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide****, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.

TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Condé Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.

 
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*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, May 2011
 
 
***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, May 2011