If you know where to look, adventure is everywhere. Adventure travel means different things for every traveler; merely taking a vacation by leaving the safety of home, hurtling through the air in an enormous metal tube or sailing the ocean blue can itself me the epitome of adventure for some.
For a birdwatcher, birding IS the adventure. And remember that book you read about a culinary exploration of Greek food? As a vacation wouldn't that be an awesome adventure? You've heard about the beautiful beaches of the Seychelles islands...always the perfect ending to a safari adventure.
Whether your idea is soft adventure or something more hardcore (orienteering in Patagonia, climbing Kilimanjaro) your adventure awaits. But where to find it? Here are twenty adventure travel destinations you are sure to find what excites you; you may never have thought of some of them, but that's why I do what I do.
Antarctica - Traveling to Antarctica is the pinnacle of exploration, and the stuff legends are made of: from crossing the world's most treacherous sea to seeing pristine ecosystems. Once the territory of scientists and the most intrepid of professional explorers, Antarctica is now accessible to the most intrepid of your neighbors, co-workers...and you! If you're feeling particularly adventurous, trekking across glaciers or the polar plunge is considered a right of passage.
Austria - If you love winter sports, traveling to Austria won't disappoint. There are tons of adventure opportunities, including exploring the rolling hills on a fat bike or Segway, snowshoeing, and tobogganing down mountainsides. If winter sports aren't your first love then find your joy in Vienna’s grand palaces and Salzburg’s manicured streets, or delve into Mozart's life history and music. Traipsing across this beautiful country once will make you want to return for more.
Belize - There is no shortage of adventurous opportunities in Belize with its array of wildlife, stunning coastlines, thick jungle, and world-famous reef. Belize's Barrier Reef is the second-largest in the world. Your trip can also include climbing through caves or exploring Mayan ruins, and spending time with indigenous groups.
Canada - Canada is the world's second-largest country, which means endless adventure opportunities. You can walk with polar bears, watch grizzly bears, and canoe in isolated lakes to watch moose. And because Canada's coastline is the longest in the world, there's a plethora of coastal adventures, and locations in which to have them!
Chile - Nestled snug between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, Chile's Patagonia Park gives explorers endless opportunities when checking out Torres del Paine National Park. The Atacama Desert feels like you've landed on the moon...if the moon had geysers and salt-flats, advancing glaciers, gushing waterfalls, and snow-topped granite pillars. It's a wild and spectacular adventure to the end of the world.
Costa Rica - Families traveling together love heading to Costa Rica for its gorgeous mix of animals, ecosystems and ways for adventure-lovers to relish in them. From surfing schools to relaxing in hot springs, there's something for everyone. If you prefer staying on land, you can explore 28 national parks, go on canopy walks, and perfect your selfie technique while zip-lining.
Galapagos Islands - Located 600 miles from Ecuador, animal lovers and outdoor adventurers feel like the Galapagos Islands are heaven on earth. You can explore Devil's Crown, an extinct volcanic cone near Floreana Island; watch sea lions sunbathe on Gardner Bay's beach; or check out the tortoises in Santa Cruz, and more. Like Antarctica, the Galapagos was once thought of as a place for scientists and the folks making nature documentaries. That's how you first learned about the Galapagos, right?
Greenland - Greenland is the world's largest and least populated island, and outdoor activities abound: untouched landscapes, and a proud indigenous culture tick off boxes for many adventure travelers. It's a hop, skip and two jumps from northern Canada. Hiking past herds of reindeer on the Arctic Circle Trail, kayaking among the Southern Fjord's icebergs, viewing the northern lights with few other visitors, and exploring fence-free vistas...yes, you'll find your adventurous activities here.
Guatemala - Adventure opportunities aplenty: take a one-hour hike up Volcano Pacaya or go overnight camping near Acatenango's summit. Which of the 30 volcanoes will you climb/study/photograph? The endless wildlife watching and kayaking, jungle treks and city walks, food tastings and cultural experiences...whatever your flavor of adventure, you won't have trouble finding fun things to do. Oh...a chocolate-making lesson...that's my kind of adventure.
Iceland - While mainstream travelers flock to the country's most famous sites along the Golden Circle, there are plenty of other opportunities for adventurers to dig in their heels. No matter if you want to hike Iceland's wide-open spaces to become part of the land of fire and ice or snorkel between the European and North American continents, this country is the epitome of adventure. Words of advice: we'll wait for the current volcanic activity to abate...nobody wants that kind of adventure.
India - Merely navigating India's culture is an adventure, when you're looking for the softer variety of adventure. For more intrepid travelers, the opportunities range from wildlife safaris in the heart of tiger country to trekking the Himalayan foothills. You'll find snow-capped peaks, lush tropical jungles, and gorgeous beaches where there's an adventure at every turn.
Kyrgyzstan - After arriving in Kyrgyzstan's busy capital of Bishkek, your next stop should be Karakol for direct access to the glorious Tian Shan Mountains, the country's best hiking. You can also check out Jyrglan, where hiking and horseback treks are available.
Madagascar - If you want to mix adventure with nature, Madagascar is an excellent destination. Consider starting at the island's Ranomafana and Andasibe Mantadia National Parks. You'll find hikes ranging from 45 minutes to all-day, where you can see the some of the planet's most wildlife. And definitely a viewing of Tsingy, which is a razor-sharp limestone formation you'll never forget.
Morocco - With its numerous options for adventure, Morocco is becoming an increasingly popular destination. Here, you'll find scuba diving opportunities in the Mediterranean and hiking through the Middle Atlas and Rif Mountains. One of my clients undertook a biking trip there after the earthquake. What will you do?
Namibia - Namibia's stunning desert landscapes give way to numerous adventures: photograph, track, and view the world's largest free-roaming population of black Rhinos along Damaraland's Skeleton Coast, as guests of the Desert Rhino Safari Camp. View herds of rare desert-dwelling elephants, wild horses and massive colonies of seals. Whether you explore quaint German-inspired towns, the bushland filled with wildlife or the rocky coastline littered with shipwrecks, Namibia's untamed charm is compelling, captivating and camera-worthy.
New Zealand -There's no lack of ways to get your adrenaline pumping when exploring the corners of New Zealand. From its beaches and old-growth forests to its mountain peaks and glaciers, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Slovenia - The country's caves, coastlines, mountains, and rolling hills make it an adventure traveler's hot spot. There are countless waterfalls and an endless selection of biking routes, hiking trails, and mountain climbing. Don't forget to check out canyoning: cliff-jumping, rappelling, and sliding into deep canyons. I'll plan your trip and look forward to your return while I savor my Guatemalan chocolate.
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka is a destination on the rise. Its ancient cities, cultural attractions, and rich ecology make it a must-see for seasoned adventure travelers. You'll find exotic wildlife, lush jungles, scenic mountain ranges, and pristine national parks throughout the country. Not only are these areas excellent for hiking, but there's no shortage of wildlife to view.
Tasmania - This island is a hot spot for adventure travelers who love bush-walks, hiking trails, and dramatic coastal cliffs. From white water rafting to discovering underground caves, Tasmania can keep adventure travelers busy for weeks.
Uzbekistan - Traveling to Uzbekistan allows you to trek along the same path as Arabs, Mongols, and Persians along the historic Silk Road trade route, which has led the mix of ethnicities that populate the country. You'll be mesmerized by this country that has both yurt camps and metro trains. Experience a remote adventure – well and truly off the tourist trail.
Adventure travel destinations aren't for thrill-seekers alone. They're an excellent opportunity for exploration, embracing the outdoors, seeing wildlife, and more. The adventures you and your family take are an excellent way to bring your family closer together, expand your worldview, and help you feel young, vibrant and adventurous.
Let us plan your adventure. My travel partners worldwide are ready to help me craft your itinerary to any or all of these countries. We should start now.
'til next week!
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Contact Juliet: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES