Why Choose Aquaterra Adventures™?
In 2008 and 2009, 2 years in a row, Aquaterra Adventures™ made it as to the list of the world's best adventure travel outfitters in the first Authoritative Rating of Adventure Tour Operators, selected in a global survey by National Geographic Society.
"Who do I sign up with?" - A question easy to answer, you may wonder, in an age where adventure travel is apparently booming. Varying costs are available and there is no shortage of operators willing to run your trip. This is possibly the most important decision for you to make, after you have chosen to take on an adventure trip. There can be several compelling reasons why you may want to choose Aquaterra Adventures™. All of them, overwhelming enough for you to lay considerable importance to the factors that make or break that trip you have planned for so long. Because in a time when travel dollars are stretched, it’s essential that an outfitter deliver the trip of a lifetime, the first time. We are one of the world’s leading adventure travel specialists.
a) Our team of guides has years of experience of travel throughout the Indian Himalaya, from running rivers to leading treks - from the barren Zanskar to the tropical rainforest of Arunachal Pradesh. They speak English, have completed graduate school, are current with First Aid and CPR certification and form the most experienced guiding team in the country today.
b) Equipment on all our adventure travel trips matches worldwide standards. On treks, we use 4 season 2-person tents, which can withstand the harshest weather conditions, and keep you dry and protected from the elements. Outfitter wings accompany all mountain trips for dining under.
c) On rafting trips, we use only self-bailing rafts, with a cataraft or kayaks back up to add safety. We encourage participants to raft all sections of the river, knowing fully that the big rapids (which you may well want to walk around) only add to the trip; often becoming a fond memory, years after the trip is over. We outfit you completely.
d) Our staff is trained in hygienic preparation of meals and offers a great variety of food on an outdoor trip.
e) We have our own transport for moving our guides and equipment to ensure we are always on schedule. We work towards lessening the variables that can make or break your trip.
f) We run all trips ourselves - there is no sub-letting on our trips. We are directly responsible for your safety and the completion of your tour, from start to finish.
g) And lastly, the prices of our trips provide a high value for money returns. They are priced to keep our standards high and your trip, smooth. Cost usually is a deciding factor for many a trip, but for an adventure trip, the deciding factor should be confidence in your operator. We combine high operator confidence with a pricing balanced to give you a trip to remember.
TRIP ARRANGEMENTS BY AQUATERRA
During all treks we provide 4 season trekking tents which are pitched on twin share basis. Treks carry Mess tents, toilet tents and kitchen tents on a regular basis. Mules, horses, donkeys or porters are taken depending on the area of operation and you need carry only their day packs with packed lunch, water, camera and wind/water proof jackets.
The dining / mess tent has tables and chairs/stools. We also provide sleeping mats. You will need to bring your own sleeping bags, water bottles and personal clothing, however it can be arranged locally on request at extra cost. Water used for cooking is filtered, boiled and treated with iodine to make it extra safe before it is provided to you for consumption through the day. Carrying bottled water is a possibility on short/easy treks however we discourage use of plastic on our trips.
Our trips are not left to sub-agents or trekking sirdars but organised and accompanied by our most seasoned escorts. All regular tours (cultural, festival and special interest tours) are arranged with English speaking local guides, though if required we can also arrange excellent escorts, who are well acquainted with Indian Culture, History, tradition, religion etc. to accompany the group throughout their stay in India.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE / A NOTE TO OUR GUESTS :In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else. Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardio-vascular sort contributing to improved endurance - helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: `` the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up:
GRADING OF TRIPS
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.