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From California to Ecuador, here's how to spend a couple of days in the backcountry while a guide leads the way

Get the most bang for your buck by planning a trip to one of these international destinations

From kayaker and filmmaker Mike Mckay, 'Jondachi' tells the story of young man and his connection to the Rio Jondachi in Ecuador.

For centuries, ice merchants retrieved this ice from glaciers on the mountain and sold it at local markets. In homage to this tradition, mountain biker Eric Porter and photographer Mason Mashon rode with their own collection of this glacial ice all the way to the ocean 17,000 feet below.

When Pete Rojwongsuriya set out on his trip to Ecuador, he thought he'd spend a maximum of 2 weeks. But what he found, far surpassed what two weeks of travel would allow.

All the exhilaration of a good old-fashioned adventure, without the risk of having to eat your tripmates

Learning to ride the waves isn't easy. But pick the right spot and find a gifted enough teacher, and you'll find your flow state

There are two sides to the story of the biggest environmental lawsuit ever, but a new book tells only one of them.

Forget the necktie. He doesn’t need another one. Want to let dad know you care? This year, send him on one of these adventures. Don’t have a dad—or don’t care for the one you’ve got? Send yourself.

Globe-trotters: we've got you covered. Our 2012 Travel Awards honor the best destinations on seven continents—everything from idyllic beach escapes to camping safaris in Kenya to a mountain-bike expedition in Tibet. Plus: Outside-endorsed outfitters, adventure insurance, and more.

A guy calls, says he found some mysterious papers left behind by a dead relative who apparently shrunk human heads and bodies. Do we wanna come see? Uh, no. But we knew Mary Roach would.

South America contains the Amazon, the Andes, 19,000 miles of coastline, and arguably more adventure than any other continent. So where to start? These ten perfect trips, from exploratory rafting in Peru to skiing in Chile to beach-hopping Brazil.

I want to take an awesome adventure trip with an operation run by indigenous people, any ideas? I want to be able to give back to the place I visit!—CharlotteSarasota, Fl

Conveniently, 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. This has fur-and-feather nerds everywhere aflutter. But the occasion should also be cause for celebration among adventure travelers. After all, before the British naturalist's obsession with Galápagos…

How can I physically challenge myself in Ecuador and still see a lot?

Alan Dershowitz, meet Steven Donziger. On behalf of 30,000 inhabitants of Ecuador's remote Oriente region, this New York lawyer is putting it to Big Oil. But will his multi-billion-dollar lawsuit establish a global precedent—or is he just looking for a scapegoat for one of the nastiest messes on earth?

I would like to arrange for a two- or three-day rafting trip in Ecuador for myself, my husband, and our sons (ages 12 and 14). We've all done a fair amount of rafting and love it. We want to make sure we find a reputable outfitter to take us on this trip. Do you have any suggestions for rivers or outfitters? Laura New York, New York

With a world-class guide, far-flung kayak expeditions are now within the layman's reach

All it takes is one trip to change your life - and we've got 40 of 'em. Dreaming of close encounters with cheetahs or penguins? Want to climb a mountain in Peru? Experience an epic trek in China? One trip, one world - that's all it takes.

You can't buy it in any store, can't send away for it online, can't meet the author (there are thousands), and you probably won't be able to read it if you do find it, since much of it is written in Hebrew. PATRICK SYMMES follows the trail of an underground global legend: the everywhere-and-nowhere travel bible of Israel's combat-fatigued, footloose vagabond yo

This exotic archipelago used to be the sole domain of Darwin fanatics. Not anymore.

What do you want—a printed invitation? OK, here it is: We’ve scouted the year’s coolest travel offerings—from new classics like cruising the Arctic, exploring the wild Caribbean, and journeying across Russia’s heartland to bold new frontiers like trekking Libya and tracking wildlife (and luxury lodges) in Sri Lanka. Going somewhere?…

In the nearly 30 years I've been hiking, biking, skiing, climbing, and kayaking, I've gone through a lot of gear. Most of it has been pretty good (like my Eureka Sentinel tent of a dozen years ago—heavy, but sturdy and roomy). Some of it has been pretty awful (like the…

To maximize the return on your investment in wanderlust, you need know-how and solid advice. We’re here to help. From saving on destination packages and high-value gear to insider trips and the bet reasons to blow a bundle, we’ve got the lowdown on affordable, rip-roaring, full-value adventure travel.

Four travel outfitters that are doing it right

The world's ten best eco-lodges

  Marine iguanas? Yes. Tourist crowding? No.: Bartolome Island in the Galapagos Q: I'm looking for a Latin American vacation spot with great snorkeling and rock climbing and not too many tourists. Any ideas? — Carrie, Portland, Oregon Adventure Advisor: A: The first place that…

We’ve learned a lot in a quarter-century of roaming the planet. This month, to kick off Outside‘s silver anniversary, we’ve chosen 25 bold, epic, soul-nourishing experiences that every true adventurer must seek out—from the relatively plush and classic to the cutting-edge and hard-core. All that’s left for you is the…

Twelve trips to change your life—and make a difference

And deliver us pronto to these 44 island Edens—if they were any more perfect we'd be in heaven

Damned with us and damned without us, the Galápagos continue to attract hordes of nature-loving visitors. But whether you're drawn by the majesty of Darwin's discoveries or mesmerized by the brutal spectacle of survival, remember this: Evolution happens.

Outside's guide to the coolest trips and the world's top new adventure travel spots.