We’re traveling again. Tour operators are reporting big spikes in inquiries and bookings. But an uncertain economy, ongoing wars, and the fragile health of the planet have, perhaps permanently, reordered priorities. Travelers now seek more perspective, meaning, and challenge. They want to see the unvarnished reality of a place, not just the fantasy. Outfitters have responded by dialing down the luxury and refocusing on core offerings. Their itineraries are more innovative and experiential—aimed at developing lasting connections between people. Here are 50 of the world’s best guided tours for 2010, as chosen by the editors of National Geographic Traveler magazine.