5 Bucket List-Worthy Adventure Travel Destinations

Person jumping off of a cliff and into a body of water
For trips that get the adrenaline pumping and heart racing, add these destinations to your adventure travel bucket list.

For some, travelling anywhere is an adventure. But not for the adventure junkie. Wine tasting in France? Boring. Lounging on a beach in Mexico? No thanks. Base jumping from fjords in Norway? Sounds more like it.  
 
For trips that get the adrenaline pumping and heart racing, add these destinations to your adventure travel bucket list.

 

South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s gorgeous South Island is a playground for those seeking adventure. Start your trip in Queenstown with a bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge, where commercial bungee jumping first got its start back in 1988. Later in the day, hop on a world-class white water rafting expedition. From there, the island is your oyster. Take a short helicopter ride into backcountry for unspoiled skiing or fishing. Embark on a multi-day hike—the Kiwis call them Great Walks—and crash out in remote huts. You can cruise a fjordland, climb a glacier, and watch for sperm whales. The options are nearly endless.

Patagonia, Chile

Boasting glaciers, deserts, and mountains, Patagonia is a dream destination for nature lovers and thrill seekers alike. The region bridges Chile and Argentina at the southern tip of South America, and though both sides have their appeal, the greatest showpiece—the Torres del Paine National Park—lies here in Chile. Here, the famous multi-day, 60-plus kilometre W Trek takes intrepid travelers past bright blue lakes and dramatic granite towers. After a few days of rest, head north to the Puelo Valley to live out your pioneer expedition fantasies on horseback.

 

The Pyrenees, France or Spain

There’s more to this European mountain range than just top-notch skiing. Canyoning, caving, rafting, and mountain biking all await travellers who want to get their blood pumping. The crown jewel of adventure activities in the region, however, is paragliding. Beginners can take tandem rides for a taste of how it feels to fly while experts can navigate themselves over mountain passes and valleys, taking in the sweeping views below.

 

Cairns, Australia

This tropical city in northern Australia is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Here, divers and snorkelers flock for an opportunity to explore the world's biggest coral reef system. Parts of the Great Barrier Reef have fallen victim to bleaching due to rising ocean temperatures; while much of it remains a spectacular natural wonder, visitors should be careful to pick a tour operator with a solid record of eco-friendly practices. For a different way of seeing the reef, opt for a Cairns sky-diving trip that offers ocean views. Or choose a different adventure entirely, and go bungee jumping in the rainforest or tackle high-grade, white water rapids in the gorges.

 

Livingston, Zambia

Any trip to Livingston requires a visit to Victoria Falls, the mammoth waterfall that lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Stretching 1,708 metres wide and 108 metres high, Victoria Falls has bragging rights as the world’s largest single sheet of falling water. It forms the basis for many of the world-class adventure activities available in Livingston. Like swimming across the Zambezi River for a death-defying dip in Devil’s Pool, the natural infinity pool that looks over the falls. If you don’t want to get wet, how about viewing the falls from above in a microlight? You’ll feel like a bird as you soar in the kite-like contraption. 

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