While many adventure tours in coastal Maine focus on water sports like kayaking and sailing, trips with Portland-based Summer Feet explore the state's famously fissured shores by bike. "Maine's dramatic coastline provides lots of variety in terrain, so there's something for everyone," says Sheila Reiser of Summer Feet. "Most routes have rolling terrain with a few long, slow climbs and a few shorter, steeper climbs. The road winds through fields, woods, and quaint villages. You [may] come around a corner and [be] presented with a stunning panorama, complete with rocky cliffs, fishing boats bobbing at their moorings, and colorful lobster buoys scattered across a clear blue bay with the sparkling sea stretching to the horizon."
On the company's three-day Sailboats and Summer Folk trip, you'll cycle along what are arguably the prettiest routes in the state, starting on the first day with a six-mile jaunt from Camden to the village of Rockport. The next day, you'll travel by ferry to Islesboro island, home to a classic old-fashioned New England resort community and mostly car-free cycling. On the final day, choose between a short 10- or 20-mile route so you have time for some shopping, or head out on a more ambitious 40- or 50-mile trek to the end of St. George Peninsula. If you think you're missing out on water time, no worries—one evening you'll have the chance to sail the Penobscot Bay in a classic wooden schooner.
Departures are scheduled for June 26, July 24, August 14, September 18, and October 2 and 16. Rates include accommodations, some meals and snacks, cycling with van support, route maps and notes, sailing, and guides. You may bring your own bike or rent one from Summer Feet. You must provide your own transportation to Camden, Maine, the trip start point.
Discovering Argentina's high deserts Provider: Socompa Length: Five days Price: $950
Why go to Argentina? Well, there's the culture of Buenos Aires, the wine regions, the mountains of Patagonia, and the ethereal deserts of Puna. Not familiar with that last attraction? Neither are most travelers, but this remote region in northwest Argentina has many of the trappings of the world's most popular desert destinations—Monument Valley's sandstone buttes, southern Utah's red rock canyons, New Mexico's white sand dunes, and the volcanoes and vastness of the Atacama. Plus, it has its own unique features: Pre-Inca ruins, giant lagoons filled with pink flamingos, and golden grass valleys populated by llamas and vicunas.
Not many outfitters visit the region, but Argentinean company Socompa specializes in overland tours of Puna, and offers a five-day expedition to Puna's Antofagasta de la Sierra subregion for less than $1,000 per person. Driving in a 4X4, you'll travel some 900 miles over isolated roads, sometimes passing no other vehicles for days, and reach elevations of more than 13,000 feet. The first few days you stop at sites such as Quilmes, an ancient ruin dating back to 1000 A.D.; the fiery red Conchas Gorge; Camp Piedra Pomiz—pumice stone formations set within white sand dunes—and Lagoon Grande, which sparkles pink as thousands of Andean flamingos move about its surface. Later, you'll hike the cone of Antofagasta Volcano, stay overnight in the tiny green oasis of Antofalla, and wind your way through the Labyrinth Desert.