Choosing Between a Private and Small-Group Tour

a couple sitting on the a bench with the grand canyon in the background

At Grand Canyon Adventures, one of the frequent inquiries we receive is guests asking how to make the choice between a private tour vs. a group tour. Making this decision depends on various factors that align with your specific needs. This article aims to provide clarity on both options, ensuring you get the most out of your Arizona visit. Regardless of which tour you choose, our expert guides and friendly support staff will make sure you have a great time with us!

The Benefits of Private Tours in Arizona

family listening to guide point out something from a grand canyon overlook


First and foremost, if you are looking for a tour that is tailored to specific needs and wants of your group, the private tour option is for you! Our guides can adjust the stories and information they share along the way to fit your specific interests.


Private tours also offer a level of flexibility that isn’t possible in a small-group setting. We can adjust the overall length of your tour, the number of stops, specific stops, pace of the tour, so on and so forth. If you want to linger a little longer at a certain spot, we can!

Intimate Experience: 

When you book a private tour in Arizona with us, you and your guide will be able to chat one on one and discuss your expectations and ambitions for your adventure. This more intimate experience will allow our guides to make personalized suggestions and cater to your interests. 

Special Occasions: 

We also often find people taking advantage of our private tours for special occasions. We love these tours—whether it’s birthdays, engagements, friend trips, or anniversaries—these trips are always a blast! We can help you plan the ideal tour to set up that perfect special occasion. If this is something you are planning, give us a call and we are happy to help arrange an unbelievable experience for you! 

couple with arms around each other looking out over the grand canyon

Private tours offer a bespoke experience tailored to a group’s specific interests and needs. Whether you want to upgrade the transportation to a more luxurious or discreet vehicle, add in a helicopter trip, or have a glass of champagne at sunset, we can makes just about anything happen on our private tours.

The Advantages of a Small-Group Tour

Shared Camaraderie: 

The community aspect is one of my favorite parts of our group tours and perhaps the most underrated part of our tours, too! Our guests are awesome, and more often than not, guests become travel buddies on our tours. We regularly have guests share phone numbers and even go out to dinner together after the tour. Everyone is coming from somewhere unique, and with a quarter of our guests coming from countries outside the United States, there are always interesting people to meet from all over the world.

Lower Cost: 

Our group tours allow guests a budget-friendly option to visit the spectacular landscapes of Northern Arizona. When one of our guides can take a group of 10–12 guests in one vehicle, we’re able to keep the costs down—passing those savings onto you! 

Don’t worry—our public tour doesn’t skimp out on anything! We ensure that the small-group tours give our guests the best possible experience. We provide all guests with lunch, drinks, snacks, entry fees included, and of course our phenomenal, highly-rated guides. You certainly won’t be disappointed with these tours.

group of four wearing hats sitting on a bench looking out at the grand canyon

What to Consider When Choosing a Private vs. Group Tour

Group Size: 

Our small-group tours operate with about 10 passengers and up to 12 if needed (depending on the season). If you and your group want to ensure that you are the only ones on the van, then you will need to book a private tour. 


If you are looking for the most budget-friendly option, then our small-group tour is for you. We are able to keep the prices much lower for our public tours since there will be more people. If you are okay with spending a little more, we can provide you with some insight into how to create a personalized tour.

Preferred Experience: 

You must also take into account your preferred experience. Our public tours stop at some amazing places, but if you are looking for that ultra-personalized experience catered to exactly you, then you might think about switching to a private tour. If you are a social butterfly and you love to meet new people from all over the world, check out our public tours! 


Here at Grand Canyon Adventures, we operate both public and private tours nearly 365 days a year (we take one week off in January, can you blame us?). So availability is rarely an issue unless it’s a last-minute booking. That being said, we do operate some unbelievable multi-day tours, and those have limited availability for the public option. If you have very specific dates, let us know and we can almost assuredly make something work with your schedule for a private multi-day tour.

silhouette of group standing in front of a sunset

Real Customer Experiences

We love hearing from our guests after they’ve completed one of our tours! Here are some testimonials to give you an idea of what experiences our guests have come away with.

“What a pleasant journey to a magnificent, natural wonder. Our guide, Jason, was pleasant, courteous, knowledgeable and accommodating. The vehicle was clean, comfortable and in excellent mechanical condition including good tires! It was a very memorable day in all the right ways!! PS, the office staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, too! Great company to do business with.” – Cecilia S.

“This was the most amazing day of our trip across the United States. Best tour by far. Our very knowledgeable guide, Curtis, made it so much better than we could have imagined. Take this tour, You will see the most amazing sights, learn such interesting facts, and be given the time to just sit to soak in all the beauty too. It is truly a spiritual place. I actually felt sorry for all the people who didn’t grasp the totality of what they were seeing because they didn’t have someone sharing the information about what was in front of them. It was an amazing day. We had a nice lunch, and such a good time with our guide and the other couple on the tour. Taking this tour took away all the stress of knowing where to go, as well as finding parking at each overlook. This tour company does it right!” – T&J

people exiting grand canyon adventures van

From Our Guides

I love sharing my perspective as a guide. Along with safety, our guests satisfaction is our top priority!

Public Tour: 

Recently, I had a great experience with one of my public small-group tours. It was a young solo traveler from Germany and a couple from Australia, and they hit it off on the way to the Grand Canyon and throughout the tour. They were taking selfies together, I was taking photos of them together, they sat next to each other during lunch and were having a blast! At the end of the tour they exchanged numbers, the next day they decided they wanted to hike in Sedona and grab dinner together!

Private Tour: 

We received a call from a husband eager to book the trip of his wife’s dreams as a surprise for their 40th wedding anniversary. We spent hours over the phone with him planning a 5-day trip to places that his wife has been talking about for years! It was perfect and to say she loved it is an understatement. We were so incredibly happy and honored to help cater the perfect trip for them.

woman taking photo of grand canyon in golden light with man standing nearby

Unforgettable Adventures, No Matter What

In the end, choosing between a private tour vs. a group tour hinges on personal preference, needs, and what you envision for your Grand Canyon experience. Whether you’re craving a tailored, intimate adventure or the camaraderie of sharing the journey with newfound friends, both options present unique merits. Always remember that the core aim is to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Arizona, and no matter your choice, Grand Canyon Adventures is dedicated to making that experience unforgettable. Dive into the adventure that aligns with your vision, and let the wonders of nature unfold before you. Contact us to get started!

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