Backroads With 42 itineraries covering five continents, Backroads is considered an industry leader in active vacations. It's noted for its five-star Premiere Inn Trips, but a new lower-priced option, Casual Inn Trips, substitutes sugar plantations and cozy B& Bs for chateaus and palatial villas ($1,998 to $6,498; 800-462-2848).
Butterfield & Robinson (B&R) The Ritz of walking companies, B&R books the best rooms in the best hotels, reserves tables in Michelin-starred restaurants, and leads guests to exclusive spots that the general populace would find difficult, if not impossible, to access individually. And you never schlep your own bags ($4,000to $6,995; 800-678-1147).
Cross Country International (CCI) CCI prides itself on taking clients to places off the beaten path that don't cost a fortune. Expect dinner with a lovely local wine, not Dom Perignon, and a real chance to immerse yourself in the regional language, landscape, culture, and food ($1,400 to $2,200; 800-828-8768).
Country Walkers Guaranteed departures, walks in Panama and Norway, and even two snowshoe tours are just some of the ways Country Walkers distinguishes itself. Sixty-eight tours, including women's-only and multigenerational, span the globe from Croatia to Costa Rica ($1,798 to $4,798; 800-464-9255).