Are you looking to add some adventure to your next trip? Book one of the following holidays and never be bored on vacation, again.
Home to the Himalayas, Nepal has ten of the world’s highest mountains (which exceed the 26,000 feet mark), so the opportunities for trekking, climbing, and mountaineering are plentiful. Most treks can be arranged in the capital, Kathmandu, and in Namche Bazar, including treks to the legendary Mount Everest that range between 7 and 21 days. The city of Pokhara, in central Nepal, is a hot spot for trekking, spelunking, paragliding, white water rafting, and mountain biking.
A trip to the ancient city of Machu Picchu is Peru’s most representative attraction and can be an adventure in itself by following the Inca Trail, a five-day trek that will take you through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in South America. The Inca Trail departs from Cuzco. Another popular destination is Iquitos, an isolated town in the Amazonian jungle that is perfect to practice water sports, such as canoeing and sailing.
Thinking about opening that emergency exit? See if you can make it happen over Lake Taupo, one of the last remaining active-volcano regions in New Zealand. Snow-capped volcanoes beckon flyers from all over the world. Tandem skydives here are made at around 15,000ft, with over one minute in freefall. Notably, it’s one of the cheapest adventure falls around.
Between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia lies Victoria Falls. Named after Queen Vic herself, this is also one of the most-jumped spots in the world, and during the ’90s, bungee fever took this area of bellowing water by storm. Jumpers are encouraged to find their own spot on the 1.7km-wide precipice, plummeting 111m into the deep curtain of water. Go in November, when the Zambezi river rapids are running at their best.
If you’re game for swimming alongside sharks, then you already have Cocos Island in Costa Rica on your radar. Hundreds of scalloped hammerheads school above the scenic sea mounts of Cocos Island, and you will seed massive manta rays, bright-orange frogfish and white tip reef sharks hunting like packs of wolves for small fish hidden in the reef. The island, often described as “a jungle rising out of the ocean,” is one of Costa Rica’s many national parks and home to waterfalls and wildlife galore. Getting to this remote spot is tricky; it’s more than 300 miles off the west coast of Costa Rica and requires a 36-hour boat ride
When vacationing, divers dip into the upper levels of Bahamas’ blue holes–flooded inland caves formed originally from limestone–to take a look around, they are unwittingly close to some of the world’s most dangerous diving. Farther below lies a kingdom of passageways that holds fossils and ancient formations. The very few who pass through the layer of toxic gas to reach these lower levels find pinhole passageways where a technical failure or wrong turn could spell doom and one errant fin could obliterate 10,000-year-old rock structures. But those who do venture into the watery veins of the Earth discover whole ballrooms full of tightly packed stalactites, prehistoric human remains, and fossils of now extinct crocodiles and tortoises. These caves are, quite literally, another world.
Even in a land known for extremes, Siberia’s Bashkaus River stands out. In a remote backwater near Mongolia, it tumbles 32 feet per mile for 130 miles. The gradient churns up a maelstrom of rarely run rapids, jagged rocks, and traps known as siphons, all sandwiched between stunning but inescapable gorge walls. Of the few who attempt it, those who succeed reach the fabled riverside memorial built for six expert kayakers who perished there in 1976. Inside lies the Book of Legends, inscribed with the names of those who’ve faced one of the world’s most difficult rivers–and lived to tell the tale.
The Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race is much more of an expedition than a race. Often stretching more than 350 miles, it takes teams of four up to ten days to travel through some of the roughest and most remote corners of Patagonia. Here, there are no topographical maps, and racers use satellite images to navigate as they trek, climb, mountain bike, and kayak on a course that changes every year. The clock never stops and many teams net just a few hours of sleep. But along the way, they see places few humans have seen: skyrocketing peaks in the Torres del Paine, vast expanses of the Southern Continental Ice Field, and the raw, turbulent waters off notorious Cape Horn.
Wingsuit fly off the Eiger. “Eiger” translates to “ogre” in German, which seems a fitting moniker for the 13,000-foot beast of limestone, gneiss, shale, and ice that towers over the resort town of Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps. Its unpredictable weather, loose rock, and steep slopes have claimed the lives of more than 60 climbers, and yet its iconic 5,905-foot north face still proves irresistible. Now a new set of adventurers, wingsuit fliers, are not only climbing it but launching off it. The extreme sport is unquestionably one of the most dangerous on Earth, but perhaps that’s the allure: It’s the closest humans can get to true unadulterated flight.
Vanuatu, South Pacific
As a general rule, lava is best seen from a great distance. That is, of course, unless you’re a group of daredevils who, led by Kiwi adventurer Geoff Mackley, descended 640 feet into Vanuatu’s Marum Volcano to witness the explosive bowels of the Earth firsthand in 2010. The resulting video, in which a man in a heatproof suit came within 300 feet of a viciously boiling lake of lava, went viral. It’s pretty clear that live volcanoes are unpredictable and their craters offer all sorts of inhospitable challenges: toxic gas, extreme heat, tumbling rocks, and unwarranted explosions. Just because it’s insane doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
by Rina Gill, Jetsetter