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Overseas Adventure Travel Reviews The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Overseas Adventure Travel Reviews
Overseas Adventure Travel Reviews
Learn about our trips from the best source—our Traveler Reviews!
There’s no better way to learn what a trip is like than from the firsthand experiences of fellow travelers—which is why we created Overseas Adventure Travel Reviews. Here, you can read unedited travel reviews, giving you an honest appraisal of the discoveries that await you on our unique small-group adventures. Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1978 by a 28-year old high school teacher named Judi Wineland, who was inspired by a trip to Africa. From the beginning, OAT offered custom small-group tours to destinations around the world. In 1993 OAT was purchased by the Grand Circle Corporation, becoming the first U.S. travel company to create, operate, and sell adventure trips to Americans aged 50 and over.

Overseas Adventure Travel Reviews

Average Rating
4.8   4.8 | 992 reviews
937 out of 992 (94%) reviewers would recommend Overseas Adventure Travel
Rating Breakdown
5 ★   842
4 ★   104
3 ★   19
2 ★   12
1 ★   15
Rating Summary
Accomodations   5
Food   4
Itinery   5
Trip Leader   5
Value   5
Recent Reviews

Route of the Maya

An Incredible Journey

5   1 year ago
My husband and I recently returned from a fabulous journey along The Route of the Maya. We were blessed to have Josue Ramirez Martinez as our guide. He not only had an extensive knowledge of the Maya people, their history, culture and customs but he was able to provide an in-depth history of Central America that opened our eyes to a whole new world. Josue was an exceptional guide! Not only did he expose us to the major sites of interest, but he took us deep into the daily lives of the Maya people who continue to live in their simple but marvelous ways. Josue provided opportunities for us to experience a day in the life of textile weavers, doll makers, pottery masters, kite designers, rug stencil artists, wood carvers, chocolate-tiers, etc., etc. Every visit, every opportunity to meet with these locals enhanced our tour 100%. Because of Josue, I believe we traveled over the dividing line between tourist and traveler. My husband and I will forever be grateful. At the end of our trip, we were asked to write what were our three most incredible moments or experiences. I wrote on the slip of paper, _Seriously three, are you kidding!? From the scarlet macaws, to the marvelous ruins of Copan and Tikal, to the markets and villages of people who are trying to preserve their culture, to zip-lining, the hikes to volcanoes, boat rides to observe wildlife and the visit to _Safe Passage? in Antigua, there is no way I could narrow down these incredible, life enriching, life enhancing experiences. So, I will simply say, _Thank you Josue? and _Thank you OAT.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Spouse/Partner

Soul of India: The Colorful South

EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

5   2 years ago
THE LOCAL TRIP LEADER, CHARLES WAS A GREAT SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND TOOK GOOD CARE OF US. I NEEDED A NEW ELECTRIC RAZOR AND HE ARRANGED FOR ME TO GO TO A STREET SHOP ON THE BACK OF A MOTORCYCLE - QUITE AN EXPERIENCE!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Friends

Israel: The Holy Land & Timeless Cultures

Beyond Expectations

5   2 years ago
Israel, November-December 2014 was our first OAT trip, and we could not have done better. The trip was flawless from start to finish. Our guide Uri was outstanding ? professional, knowledgeable, personable. He did so much to ensure that we not only enjoyed the trip but also educated us in the history, architecture, archeology. We came away wanting to learn much more (and wanting to return!) Although we read the OAT detailed itinerary before leaving, we were surprised by the depth of experience we had for all the places we visited; Uri?s narratives and teaching skills on all our stops were invaluable to our understanding the significance of the many, many sites we saw and experiences we had. Our driver Salman similarly made the trip memorable ? always on time, patient, and skilled in navigating the crowded streets while making it as convenient for us as possible. His skills played a large role in maximizing the time we spent at locations. OAT?s _local meetings? covered a cross-section of Israel?s residents. Despite being _people persons? by nature, however, we were not really sure what to expect. Our concern was not meeting people per se, but we thought the interactions might feel forced or artificial. We were dead wrong. Each and every meeting was enlightening, enjoyable, and thought-provoking. We treasure that aspect of the trip and now look forward to similar experiences on future OAT outings. The pacing was active and stimulating, but not overly difficult. The various means of _transport? were fun ? walking through tunnels, taking cable cars, hiking, boating, jeeping, floating (Dead Sea), walking in the river (River Jordan). The hotels and food exceeded our expectations. (We were surprised at the elaborate breakfasts at all the hotels; it made it hard to return to our routine oatmeal!). Having fellow travelers was wonderful. This was our first group adventure. Previously, we had traveled on our own, and again were not sure what to expect. But we sure had fun getting to know everyone else, and we realized having others to share thoughts and observations with was quite a bonus. A note on safety concerns: We had the good fortune to speak with Michael, an OAT agent, when we considered taking the trip. He patiently answered all our first-timer questions with facts and assurances, and he gave the impression that he had as much time for us as we would need. By the time we ended our conversation with him, we had the confidence that OAT would make good judgment calls about our safety on that trip, so much so that when our friends and family questioned our decision to take the trip, we told them exactly that. In fact, another couple on the trip affirmed our assessment when they shared their story of OAT?s proactive response in the face of a natural disaster on one of their previous OAT adventures.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Inside Vietnam

Visit to the peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia

5   1 year ago
We had a wonderful experience on the Inside Vietnam trip and the Angor Wat, Cambodia post trip. We were amazed how much the people welcomed us. They were excited to see us and were so kind. Our guides would meet random people on the street and moments later we would be in their homes having tea, discussing topics, or watching crafts being done! We got to have lunch with Viet Cong soldiers and supporters who told us what they went through fighting the war. We also met people who fought alongside the Americans and heard about the re-education camps they had to attend after the war. Vietnam was beautiful and diverse. We really felt like we got to know the country and its people. Cambodia was fascinating as well. Our guides were wonderful. They were very concerned about our welfare and our wishes. They went out of their way to give us the kind of trip we wanted.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

Costa Rica: Natural Parks & Tropical Forests

Costa Rica

5   2 years ago
also took the pre-trip and post-trip extensions. The pre-trip one to Drake Bay was not somthing I would recommend to others. Your advance materials suggest one take footwear that could do water. That needs to be stressed much more. During the trip, one had to remove shoes and sox five time to walk through the water to get into a boat or out of a boat. Also, one had to wade across a river twice. I was totally unprepared for this level of water wading. They provide a towel to dry feet before putting shoes/sox back on but in that rush, one can't get them completely dry. As a consequence, my sox were constant damp and I ended up with athlete's foot on both feet. Seems to me that if they want tourists to visit, it wouldn't cost much to build basic piers so one stays out of the water. We had two walks in thejungle. Both day guides were excellent, especially Elia (spelling?). I had seriously over estimated my fitness and on the walk with Elia which was longish (maybe 3 hours) I ended up being exhausted, and Elia was very patient with my need to sit and rest briefly. She also helped me wade back across the river. (My bad since advance materials had stressed fitness). I was able to walk 3.5 miles before the trip but that didn't take into account the heat and very high humidity at Drake Bay which did me in. The humidity was an overall problem b/c the quite thin towels in the rooms were damp all the time and nothing would dry out, no even clothes overnight. The osciallating fan was a saving grace. Otherwise the accommodation, food etc. were fine. The core trip "Natural Parks and Tropical Forests was excellent. The tour leader, Jeffry, was especially outstanding. He directed us to wildlife that we would have missed otherwise. He even made the "learning and discovery" component to be positive experiences. I had feared those events would be trivial and corny but they were very interesting and educational about the country and its people. My only complaint about this main tour was the bus system. I understand you want to keep the busses small. However, on the many trips I have taken as a solo traveler, on busses, there was always a double seat available (backpack on one, me on the other by the window. The bus we had had double seats on one side and only single seats on the other. As a consequence, our backpacks were piled on a front double seat. So, one's daypack stuff was unavailable during the day unless we got off if the bus - even then, to get one's pack, delayed others from getting off the bus. Also, a problem for myself was that all the other group members were couples so they naturally took the double seats, though later in the trip the sometimes split up, taking some of the single seats. Also, related to being solo with a group of couples, at meals the couples all wanted to sit together so I had to wait until they were seated before I could sit (a couple of times when I didn't do that and started to sit in a chair, one spouse told me that that chair was for the other spouse. This happen several times at one meal and I was clearly frustrated. So, the couples eventually got it and were much more at ease splitting up if need be. In fact, this is one of the nicest group of people I have travelled with over many solo trips. Lovely people. The post-trip extension to Tortuguero. This was ok. It turned out that Jeffry at the last minute had to replace the anticpated guide. In fact as we group members were waiting to start that part of our trip, we learned that Jeffry would be our guide for that too b/c Alan was unable to do it. There was general glee as that news spread since we all were so impressed with Jeffry. Alan may be a wonderful guide but our trust in Jeffry was sky high. I check below that I would recommend the trip to a friend. I certainly would except for the pre-trip extension to Drake Bay which I would not recommend.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Solo Traveler by Myself

Route of the Maya

Don't Miss This Trip!

5   2 years ago
If you are a little unfamiliar with Central American history you need to do this trip. It was a real eye-opener. First of all, the scenery is dramatic and beautiful. The weather (Feb-March) was perfect--like San Diego weather. A welcome relief from Midwest winter! Our tour leader--Josue Ramirez--was amazing. He was incredibly well-informed about Mayan history and culture and he had the ability to present everything with clarity and humor. We needed good humor because the group included some of the worst fellow-travelers we have ever experienced! Enough said about that! The hotels with a couple of exceptions were the best ever for an OAT trip. The pace was almost frenetic because Josue was determined that we were going to see as much as possible of mesoamerica. Do this trip! You won't regret it!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

Imperial China, Tibet & the Yangtze River

China, Tibet, the Yangtze and Cambodia

5   2 years ago
In a word, Incredible. I was fortunate enough to do this trip, which included Vietnam instead of Cambodia, in 2003. I can tell you that a lot has changed in the 12 years, most of it for the better. Shanghai is a beautiful clean modern city. I was stunned by the number of young beautiful girls in short skirts and high heals. It could have been Paris except for the signs that I couldn't read. Our trip leader, Jenny, was a mother hen. Making sure our every need or want was provided if she could. Beijing was raining the day we arrived and a bit chilly. The following day, the sun came out and it was a beautiful city. I am still saddened when we visited the Tiananmen Square knowing that so many students died without recognition of the central government. It had been declared and "incident" where some students had minor injuries but all left without further problems. The great wall is still a fascination to me. It is hare for me to imagine the number of people that built it and try to escape back to those days and visualize how it was used. The Terracotta soldiers are fascinating. Not just the original construction but the puzzle it presented trying to put them back together. Tibet was a disappointment for me. It is sad to see what progress has done to Lhasa. When I was there before, there was one road in and it was a 2 lane barely improved road. Today there are 15 story high rise apartments everywhere. The city has grown from 250,000 to over 450,000 in just 12 years. The city is tightly controlled. By that I mean with SWAT squads and jail buses standing on the streets waiting for something to happen. I did experience altitude sickness with headaches. Something new for me since it didn't bother me before. The Panda Reserve was fortuitous for us. It was cloudy overcast day and the Pandas were very active. I think we saw 10 or 15 of them playing and just being Pandas. Great pictures and spent a lot of time there.The Yangtze cruise was okay. Something you have to do but not as memorable as I remembered. The dam is now almost full, eliminating a lot of e shoreline. I felt a sadness about the people who were relocated. Hong Kong is New York on steroids. If you like humongous cities I guess it is for you. We did take a Sam Pam ride and took the ferry, along with Jenny, across the bay to see the Laser show. And now to Cambodia. I don't know what I expected but it was hot!! and humid!!!. So be prepared. The Killing Fields were very sad. To know that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed 2 million people just to take them back to an agrarian society is appalling. Because of him and the subsequent civil war, the population median age is under 20 years old. The people are happy. I asked one young waiter why they smiled so much and he simply said it was their culture. We visited a floating fishing village and learned they have a 20% child mortality rate due to drowning and water borne illness. Very sad.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Japan's Cultural Treasures

Nonsmokers beware!

5   2 years ago
This was a fabulous trip. My wife and I enjoyed every minute of it, despite several rainy days. Japan is a fascinating country with lots to see and experience, and this trip is very well planned. However, here's something you should be aware of: Japanese hotels do not seem to have the concept of a non-smoking room as a room in which guests may not smoke. If you ask for a non-smoking room and complain that your room reeks of tobacco, the staff will put an "air purifier" machine in your room and consider the problem to be solved, although your room still reeks. This unfortunate custom is not OAT's fault, and in fact our Program Director did what she could to alleviate the problem (switching us to a less polluted room when one was available.)
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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NEW! Tuscany & Umbria: Rustic Beauty in the Italian Heartland

Food, Wine, Countryside and Medieval Cities

5   1 year ago
All of my prior OAT trips were to the developing world and was excited to see an OAT trip to Italy. I?ve traveled to Italy in the past, but those trips focused on the major cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. This trip was a totally different experience. This trip took me to the rolling green hills of Tuscany and Umbria in the heart of Italy. Other than a day trip to Florence we were off the beaten tourist path enjoying medieval cities and hills and valleys covered in wheat, olive groves and vineyards. The first few days of the trip were overcast with a few sprinkles, but then the sun came out. Though we traveled in late May and early June the weather was perfect and it was actually a bit warm a few days. It was so nice to have four 3-night stays with day trips from each location. The days were filled, but it was still relaxing having a home base for 3 nights in a row. Three of the hotels are in or next to ancient walled towns with the other being a villa in the Tuscan countryside. You couldn?t ask for better hotel locations. Walking through these little towns was wonderful. Everywhere you turned there were amazing little shops. The town of Pienza is known for pecorino cheese and walking through the streets just made you hungry. The final night was at an agroturismo (farmhouse hotel) just outside of Rome. The residents of these walled cities had little, if any, yards so their front doors and windowsills became their gardens. Herbs, flowers and succulents were everywhere. You would swear each resident was in a contest for garden of the week. The food?what can I say?awesome! Most meals on the trip are included and the lunches and dinners came with never-ending wine! We certainly were never hungry, though that didn?t stop me from having a gelato or two or ten. Our free evenings included pasta at an outdoor cafe on the piazza in Lucca and pizza cooked in a wood fired oven in Pienza. Did I mention the wine?and beer? Pizza is paired with beer in Italy! We had cooking lessons on two occasions. One was hands-on with a very classy lady where we prepared pasta sauce, a chicken, ham and cheese dish and tiramisu made with pineapple (light and refreshing). The other started out in the countryside learning how a local family hunts for truffles. We then learned about their pecorino cheese-making followed by a demonstration from their sweet old Italian mother showing us how real pasta was made. As we watched, we had wine, salami, cheese and crustinis with truffles and olive oil on top. This was followed by a meal of salad, the pasta, Italian sausages and ice cream for desert. Did I mention we had wine as well? One afternoon we visited a winery owned and run by a woman. After visiting her wine cellars and learning about the winery?s operations we had a wine tasting with _light lunch.? That turned into 5+ glasses of different wines and delicious finger foods. There were too many other adventures and discoveries to describe. For those looking for beautiful countryside, food, wine and medieval cities I would definitely recommend a trip to Tuscany and Umbria.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Friends

NEW! Back Roads of Iberia: Spanish Paradores & Portuguese Pousadas

Exceeded Our Expectations

5   2 years ago
Although we had already toured Spain and Portugal on our own, when OAT came out with this Back Roads of Iberia tour, we signed up immediately. The enticement was being able to stay in Paradores & Pousadas; little did we know that the full scope of the itinerary would introduce us to a whole other view of Portugal and Spain. It was totally amazing. Except for the two major cities, Lisbon and Madrid, this is truly a back roads experience. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the area that our tour leader, Susana, had, kept bringing every bit of past and present history to life. She never ceased to amaze us. Add to that the learning and discovery opportunities this tour includes; by the end, we felt we really had experienced the "back roads" and it was amazing. Word of caution....this is a very active itinerary. The description in the catalog is very accurate. There is a lot of walking, including much on cobblestones, and up and down hills. It is really the best way to experience the life of the towns. We were very happy with the pace; we covered a lot of territory.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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