The Go-and-Give

Roadmonkey guests at work in Peru     Photo: Photo by Paul Von Zielbauer

For many of us, the only thing better than a kick-ass trip is a kick-ass trip that lends a hand to someone—or someplace—in need. And due to the recent surge in so-called adventure philanthropy trips, it's never been easier to do so. Elevate Destinations brings volunteers to Alabama's Mobile Bay to help the Ocean Foundation restore oyster reefs damaged by the BP oil spill. After work, volunteers hike or kayak along the coast, then crash in a seaside bungalow in Weeks Bay, Alabama. $750–$1,250; April 24–30; elevatedestinations.com. Natural Habitat Adventures recently introduced three-day volunteer extensions to its itineraries. Options include helping scientists monitor green-sea-turtle populations off Baja, working at a sustainable farming community in Patagonia after hiking through Torres del Paine National Park, and maintaining a school in Amazonian Peru. Nathab.com. Biosphere Expeditions' new Maldives project enlists divers to live on a 115-foot boat for a week and help marine biologists monitor whale-shark populations and coral reefs. $2,570; September 3–9 and 10–16; bio­sphere­expeditions.org. Roadmonkey leads a weeklong trip to Peru that's split between rafting the Apurímac River and building a daycare center in a remote Andean town. $3,800; June 4–12; roadmonkey.net. And Planeterra's new two-week Sun, Surf and Volunteer in Peru trip sends you to the village of Lobitos to work with a local NGO and teach kids to surf, swim, speak English, and make art. From $2,069; year-round; planeterra.org

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