When contemplating vacation, most people visualize beautiful white-sand beaches, a cocktail in hand, or large cities full of history and sightseeing. But for the real thrill-seekers out there, sitting on the beach or enjoying a coffee at a café can seem a bit mundane. Trekking through the most desolate (and dangerous) terrain on earth, flying fast over jagged ravines, or climbing slippery slopes –these are just some of the things that get a true adventurer’s heart racing. So if you like to live life on the edge, this adrenaline-packed list is for you.
1. Trek to Everest Base Camp, Himalaya, Nepal
There are few excursions that sound as perilous as scaling the peaks of Mt. Everest. This 17-day trek, organized by Walks WorldWide, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where hikers take part in a true expedition-style adventure. Experienced guides and sherpas are there to help them make their way to the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain, witnessing some of the most stunning views of what some call the “Roof of the World.”
2. World’s Fastest Zip Line, North Wales, U.K.
Though zip lines are available all over the world, none are as thrilling as the experience at Zip World, above Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales, UK. Not only is the zip line stationed 498 feet above the ground, it is the fastest in the world, reaching speeds of 100 mph and holds the record for the longest zip line in Europe.
3. Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley, Bozeman, Montana
Easily one of the most dangerous weather phenomenons on Earth, tornadoes are feared by most, but for the true adrenaline junkie, nothing is as electrifying as chasing these deadly cyclones. Storm Chasing Adventure Tours has been helping people get up close to tornadoes since 1997, using the latest technology to track lightning and wind speeds, and sometimes even partnering with scientists to help people witness nature’s fury.
4. Volcano Boarding, Cordillera de los Maribios, Nicaragua
Making a 45-minute climb up an active volcano takes courage, but a real gambler doesn’t stop there. How about racing down the side of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua on custom-made wooden boards at the speed of 30 mph? Risk-takers can slide down the volcano’s cooled lava in specialty suits, but have to be ready to take some possible unforgiving spills along the way.
5. Great White Cage Diving, Guadalupe Island, Mexico
Though most people would rather not come across some of the most feared animals on Earth, daredevils jump at the chance to swim with the rulers of the ocean—sharks. One of the best spots to do so is in the waters of Guadalupe Island, Mexico, where cage divers can witness and interact with great whites up close. Beating out both South America and Australia for consistency and watching conditions, these cage dives always prove to be jaw-dropping.
6. Namiri Plains Safari, Asilia Park, Tanzania
For 20 years, the grasslands of the Eastern Serengeti were closed off to tourists to allow the cheetah population to flourish. In 2014, the region reopened with Asilia Park appointed as its custodian, and today, cheetahs roam the area, lions and leopards hunt undisturbed, and from November through June, the wildebeest migration is accessible. After waking up in the comfort of their own camps, guests enjoy expansive views and unrivalled sightings of apex predators in an action-packed safari experience.
7. Deep Amazon Adventure, Peru
Pulsing with life, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most lush places on Earth, with everything from rare animal species to roots that aid in ailments. To the outside world, the Amazon may be a mysterious place, but to explorers, nothing is more audacious than a tour through its depths. The journey through the rugged and enigmatic trails of the Amazon is guided by Untamed Path Adventures. And though the road may sometimes feel grueling, the experience and knowledge learned about the jungle and its people are an experience of a lifetime.
8. White Water Rafting , Ganges River, India
Much like zip lining, whitewater rafting can be done all over the world, but, surprisingly to some, it’s the Ganges River that rafting enthusiasts dream of mastering. Here, rafters can tackle the long stretches of river, with everything from currents, whirlpools, and rough, thrashing rapids in freezing waters—just don’t let the calmer spots or rafting options fool you.
9. Kawarau Bungy Jump, Queenstown, New Zealand
Known as the world’s first commercial bungee jump and originally launched in 1988 by two bungee pioneers, the Kawarau Bungy Jump, off the historic Kawarau Bridge, is considered one of the best jumps on Earth. Over 141 feet off the ground and the options of water touches, or being tied up and thrown off with a friend, venturers can share the thrill of one of the most exhilarating experiences out there.
10. Ice Climbing in Finnish Lapland, Pyhä-Luosto, Finland
As if the thrill of rock climbing with just a rope and harness around you wasn’t exciting enough, the bravest at heart have the opportunity to go on a vertical ice fall 82 feet off the ground with Finland’s Bliss Adventure. Like something out of a “Game of Thrones” episode, climbers are armed with just a harness and ice axe, while an instructor guides them, making sure climbers know what to do even when their gloves slip on the rope. Bliss Adventure also takes guests to Finland’s tallest ice falls at the rugged Korouoma Canyon in Posio. This experience takes climbing to another level, but for some, is totally worth the risk.