The Evolution of Adventure Travel

The evolution of adventure travel started with the first person. The interest in adventure has been part of us since we stood upright and wanted to know what was over the next hill. The need for adventure is part of our DNA.

The first adventure travellers were in it for business more than exploration and adventure. They were in search of new lands, resources, and rewards for whomever floated the bill for their journeys. These early explorations were closer to acts of war than for the idealistic notion of adventure. Further more many of the famous explorers, became famous for their mistakes. Leif Ericson was blown off course from Norway to Greenland and landed in North America around 1000 A.D. 500 years later Christopher Columbus thought he was in the East Indies. When in fact he was further away from it than where he started from. None the less adventure travellers from Scandinavian, Asia, Europe, the Pacific, and from all over the globe, have set out on adventures, for many reasons, since the beginning of time.

After 1800 most of the world had been “discovered” and travel took on a stereotype. Young, rich, European men who longed for adventures, were out seeing the world and travel became a luxury. After World War II all that changed. For the first time in human history we had relatively inexpensive and fast sources to travel. Military surplus gave us Jeeps, backpacks, winter camping equipment, skis, rubber rafts, and made outdoor equipment available to the public. As well as our boys came home with tales of far off lands and cultures.

The always steady evolution of adventure travel was now rapidly evolving…

antique adventure travel
vintage adventure travel
old adventure travel
old school adventure travel

So what would be the definition of adventure travel? The Adventure Travel Trade Association defines adventure travel as any tourism activity that includes these three elements: a physical activity, a cultural exchange and connecting with nature.

A set of three broad, yet seamlessly inter-woven elements.

The modern adventure travel industry started in the early 1970’s offering treks in Nepal’s Himalayas and commercial river rafting trips in Ethiopia. Fast forward 40+ years and the adventure travel industry is that, an industry. You can take a Russian Mig Jet on a ride to the statosphere. Immerse yourself with indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest, and millions of other options that include a physical activity, a cultural exchange, and a connection with nature.


surfing adventure
canyoneering adventure
scuba adventure

I am an adventurer. I have travelled, got lost, been chased, hitch hiked, and just plain hiked. I work as an adventure excursion guide in my adopted home, Dominican Republic.

I know what most of you are thinking, The Dominican Republic as an adventure travel destination? Believe me it is. There are four mountain ranges, some with peaks over 10,000 feet, nearly 800 miles of beaches, and countless rivers, waterfalls, caves, grottos, and off the beatin’ path adventures to be had.

It is why I created Adventuresque. An adventure vacation package that includes all lodging, meals, and the best adventures the Dominican Republic has to offer. It is part of the next evolution of adventure travel. I’m proud of the itinerary that has been created. I know that if you joined us for an adventure week, you will be amazed at the evolution.


Matt McArthur

Matt McArthur

Founder of Adventuresque

Matt McArthur is the founder and head guide at Adventuresque. An adventure vacation company in the Dominican Republic. Adventuresque offers extreme vacation packages, family adventure packages, and glamping 2-night packages.

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