Best Adventure Travel Destinations
For many, adventure travel activities are what make their travels adventurous. Although we think traveling in itself can be adventurous, there are many kinds of outdoor activities that can give your travels an extra impulse. Exiting activities are experiences you will never forget.
Adventure travel does not have to be about thrill-seeking activities like parachute jumping, white water rafting, or bungee jumping. It can just be about exploring your holiday destination. We will try to lead you to the best adventure destinations, adventure activities, adventure travel agencies, and so on.
You can travel adventurous for any budget, as luxurious or as basic as you would like it to be. In fact, budget traveling is adventurous in itself just because you can not depend on expensive tour guides to show you the way. You will have to find it out by yourself.
- Do you want it cheap? Go backpacking!! Follow our tips to pack your gear, plan your budget, choose a destination, and go with the flow.
- You don’t consider yourself adventurous? Go on a tour, an organized adventure travel group vacation.
- Do you want luxury? Plan a luxurious safari. Bottom line: There’s an adventure there for anyone.
In order to give an overview of what kind of adventure travel activities are possible, we will make a distinction into several groups of activities. This will make it easier for everybody to choose the activities that suit them the most.
If your idea of thrilling travel has more to do with pumping adrenaline than restaurants and shopping, here are some of the best places on the planet to get your fill of excitement.
Before you go, check out our tips for outdoor safety while traveling.
Most Adventurous Travel Destinations
Interlaken is famous for its adventure sports and ability to set the pulse racing, and it’s not hard to see why. However you want to set your pulse racing, this town delivers. Interlaken offers white river rafting or canyoning, mountain biking or lake swimming, skydiving, Nordic walking, or paragliding! River rafting, horse riding, and climbing are also on offer – and if you prefer something a little more sedate, there’s always mini-golf.
Well-known globally as a superb place for those who love nothing more than an adrenaline rush, New Zealand is the go-to country for skydiving, white-water rafting, mountain biking and a lot more. This nation also boasts the site of the world’s first bungee jumping location, Kawaru Bridge. Or try the Nevis Swing, the world’s highest. And if you thought New Zealand had to mean backpacking and hostels, think again. There are plenty of comfortable but cheap hotels in Wellington, for example.
Thrill-seeking in this Canadian city? Do the EdgeWalk on Toronto’s CN Tower, the highest hands-free, full-circle walk on the planet. Hundreds of feet above the city’s streets, your life is totally dependent on a safety harness. For something a little less intense, eat dinner in the dark or try the thrills of the roller coasters at Canada’s Wonderland. Who said Canada was boring? And you can enjoy it all affordably if you stay in one of the many cost-conscious Toronto hotels that this outstanding city has to offer.
San Francisco, California
If you’re staying in one of the many San Francisco hotels that dot the city, you can get your adrenaline buzz here too. Zoom way out over the city on a 10-meter rope swing at Billy Goat Hill, which hangs from a single eucalyptus tree in Glen Park, and get a stunning panoramic view as the land falls away. Meanwhile, Fort Funston is a top hang-gliding destination, and the San Francisco Bay is always full of kite surfers. There’s more to San Francisco than Fisherman’s Wharf!
While you may have associated the Emirates with beaches and high-rise hotels in Dubai, this destination actually has a lot more to offer. Go bungee jumping, drive a racing car, drop into a shark tank, or try your hand at flyboarding or kite surfing.
Adventure Travel Activities that will give you a boost, a rush of adrenaline through your body. They may be dangerous, although in most cases enough precautions are taken. Note that the activities in the other categories can also give you an adrenaline rush, but here, the more extreme ones are given.
Here is a list of activities you can think about:
- White water rafting. Raft down fast-flowing rivers.
- Bungee jumping. Jump from a bridge or high crane with an elastic band around your ankles
- Parachute jumping. Jump from an airplane. Solo jumps are possible after a short course
- Skydiving. Freefall from an airplane, until you pull the parachute. For beginners with an instructor only.
To be able to fly has always been people’s wish. For some, getting in an airplane is already too much, other people want to explore all kinds of flying. Here are the ones we can think of:
- Hot air ballooning. Easy going in great landscapes
- Paragliding. Run downhill until your parachute lifts you up.
- Hang gliding. Jump from a hill and fly like a bird.
The Adventure Travel Activities listed in this category require certain skills. For beginners, though, there are often introduction courses, where skills are not required upfront
- Survival activities & challenges. All kinds of activities to cross rivers, climb or descend mountains, etcetera
- Dropping, GPS navigation. You are dropped and need to find your way back.
- Archery. Shooting with bow and arrow
- Speleology. Finding your way in dark narrow caves
- Canyoning. Finding a route through narrow canyons and rivers
- Shooting with all kinds of armed guns
- Mountain biking
There are a lot of Adventure Travel Activities possible in or around water. If you live near a lake or the sea, one of these activities might turn into an exciting hobby. Relish water thrills in some of the perfect areas of the world. You can enjoy canoeing in Japan. Canoeing is the freshest and most exciting new adventure sport to hit Japan. An adrenal-singing and revitalizing adventure with a multitude of courses available to suit all thrill levels. Whitewater rafting is another water sport to enjoy. You ca experience whitewater rafting in Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, Nepal, Australia, Chile, Idaho, China, Canada, Uganda, and many other destinations.
- Water skiing
- Canoeing, surf canoeing
- Raft building
Anything that has a motor in it can be the basis of exciting activity. Here are a few:
- Quad or Trike. Four or three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles
- Four-wheel drive. The big brother of the above.
- Car control. Control your car in difficult circumstances (wet roads mostly)
- Karting. Small vehicles, close to the ground
A lot of the activities mentioned above can be done in teams, for instance for team-building events. For some activities, teams are even required. Examples are:
- Paintball. A war game with bullets of paint.
- Highland games. Originated in the Scottish highlands, different kinds of competitive games
Some Adventure Travel activities are typical for holidays. They require specific surroundings or conditions that can only be found in specific places, or you just need enough time to do them. In fact, the activities listed here are activities that may take all or most of your holiday time.
- Hiking. Sure, you can walk anywhere. But walking enthusiasts pick their destinations where walking is best.
- Mountain climbing
- Horseback riding
- Dog sledding. The way to get around in the Nordic area
- Safari. Mostly done in Africa, but there are safaris elsewhere too
- Hunting. To some a controversial activity. To others, necessary to control wildlife
This is a category you would normally not choose from. These activities are just too dangerous for normal people. There are no precautions taken, so it is someone’s own responsibility to not pass the limit… Here are a few of these extreme sports:
- Base jumping – Jump from a building just high enough for your parachute to open
- Street luging – Ride down a long hill road on a specialized skateboard. No brakes, nothing
- Speed skiing – Downhill in a straight line with speeds up to 250 km/h. If you don’t fall, you will survive.
- Cave diving – Diving in a dark cave. If something goes wrong, there is no time to reach the surface in time.
- Freediving – Diving as deep as you can without oxygen.
Best Adventure Travel Destinations
Going on an adventure travel activity, vacation, or long trip means you get to see, do, or experience things you would normally not see, do, or experience at home. There are many aspects that can make the destination worthwhile. Ranking them just isn’t fair since most cannot be compared to each other.
Having said that, we recognize everybody’s wish to rank the best adventure travel destinations. When we plan a new vacation or trip, we also like to see the next ranked destination we haven’t seen yet. In order to do justice to every amazing experience we encountered, we have to make lists for different categories. First of all, let’s look at some destinations you would pick for an adventure travel vacation.
Best overall adventure travel destinations
An overall adventure travel destination needs to be relaxing, and interesting, it has to have nice and enough activities to do, and also good food and lodging.
Best adventure travel cities
Same thing, but now for cities. Cities tend to be less relaxing, but more interesting. There are some other criteria to rank cities than other places.
Best adventure travel countries
For longer vacations, you will consider countries instead of cities or single destinations. An ideal adventure travel country needs to have different places with different types of activities and sights.
Best Unusual Travel Destinations
Going off the beaten track. What are the best destinations visited by little tourists?
Now, for the specific experiences found in the different adventure travel destinations, we have made some other categories.
Most interesting people or tribes
On our travels, we met people of different origins. Most of them are slowly but surely changing their way of life. But some of them are still keeping their traditions, and they are the most interesting.
Public transport experiences
Our quest was to travel the world without using airplanes. It forces us to make use of public transport in areas not frequented by tourists. Our most special public transport experience.
We all know the beautiful sights in the world from the pictures on the Internet, and the travel magazines on TV. But what makes the biggest impression when you compare them? Again, we have different categories here.
Most beautiful man-made structures
There is a list of 7 wonders of the world. But many are called World Wonder Number 8. We haven’t visited all the wonders, but here is our preferred list of the man-made structures we did visit.
Apart from men, nature does quite a nice job making beautiful things, too. Sceneries and landscapes come in different forms, here is our ranking.