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6. Find the Local Option

There’s no question that booking a soup-to-nuts itinerary with a global adventure travel company is more convenient than planning one alone. But if you’re willing to do some extra legwork, you can often put together your own trip for less money. The trick is finding a reputable outdoor guide in your country of choice. Ask local tourism offices for the names of their top in-country outfitters (towd.com lists national bureaus around the world). Or browse National Geographic adventure’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth database (ngadventure.com/ratings), which lets you search outfitters by destination and price. Here you’ll find local heavyweights like Costa Rica Expeditions (costaricaexpeditions.com) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Paria Springs Eco Community (pariasprings.com).

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