Listen up, adventure seekers: we know the average destination won’t meet your ultimate travel desires. You need action, adrenaline, and loads of fun. Luckily, we’ve found just the places for you. From whitewater rafting in Interlaken to shark cage diving in Cape Town, these eight destinations are sure to inject some adrenaline into your travel plans.
1. Get wild in Alaska
While Alaska is packed with amazing experiences like glacier hiking, zip lining, and heli-skiing, it truly excels at water sports. The US state has some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, with class five and six rapids. And if rapids aren’t your thing, you can also kayak through fields of icebergs and glacier-carved fjords. But that’s not all — there’s also snowmobile tours, dips in hot springs, catamaran cruises of Alaskan fjords, or wildlife tours of the Arctic Circle to choose from. Whatever you end up doing, expect lots of bumps, mud, and superb wildlife sightings.
2. Race along rapids in Queenstown
Home to some of New Zealand’s most action-packed activities, Queenstown and has often been referred to as the adventure capital of the country (and sometimes the world). The go-to destination for anyone in search of a whole lot of adrenaline, Queenstown has something for every level of daredevil. From heli-rafting down Shotover River and racing along luge tracks to whitewater rafting in a jet boat and skydiving from 15,000 feet, Queenstown will make your heart skip a beat (literally).
3. Snorkel in Maui’s crystal-clear waters
While Maui has beautiful beaches, this isn’t the destination for lying around all day. It’s made for exploring! Our tip? Strap on some flippers and discover an underwater world on a snorkeling tour. Getting up close and personal with local wildlife (we see you, Hawaiian Green Sea turtles) has never been this fun. And if you’re all about chasing waterfalls, Maui’s rainforests have you covered. Once you’ve traipsed across the island, take to the skies to see the Valley Isle from above or zip through the forest canopy for a bird’s-eye view.
4. Hike across Patagonia
Patagonia is all about the outdoors — hiking, fishing, climbing, kayaking, and biking. Avid hikers will love the region for its unparalleled beauty and numerous hiking tracks. From piercing peaks and thick forests to shimmering lakes and enormous glaciers, the scenery is truly spectacular. Popular parks include Torres del Paine National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, and the lake district. For a real adrenaline-pumping experience, try ice-hiking on the Grey Glacier.
5. Paraglide into Interlaken
No matter what the season, there’s a long list of activities to get up to in Interlaken. During the summer months, you can go canyoning, paragliding, whitewater rafting, skydiving (you can even try out a helicopter skydive) and bungee jumping. The winter months are ready-made for glacier landing, snowshoeing, night sledding, skiing, and snowboarding. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something for the not-so-faint of heart. And if you’re bringing little adrenaline junkies along, the Seilpark Interlaken is perfect for families. This forest-based adventure park is complete with wooden bridges, Tarzan swings, zip lines, and more than 90 different challenges/obstacle courses.
6. Discover the Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rocky Mountains are a literal playground for outdoor enthusiasts. We’re talking beautiful mountains, crystal-clear lakes, hot springs, and a ton of wildlife (watch out for the bears!). There are some great hiking trails in the Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks, including shorter day hikes for those of you bringing wary partners along. During the wintertime, the area offers every winter sport imaginable including skiing, snowshoeing — even dog sledding.
7. Go underground in Slovenia
A hidden gem in Eastern Europe, Slovenia should be on any active traveler’s list. First stop: Bled. This tiny town in the hills of the Julian Alps is full of thrilling things to do. And when we say it has everything, we mean it. Travelers can go caving, whitewater rafting, canyoning, ice climbing — even underground kayaking. But the adventure isn’t limited to Bled. Head to Bovec to explore the Soča Valley and more.
8. Go cage diving in Cape Town
There’s more to Cape Town than wine tasting and sightseeing. From hiking up and around Table Mountain to sailing the open seas, there are plenty of exciting activities to choose from. You can even take to the skies and partake in a tandem paragliding experience from Signal Hill or Lion’s Head. And for the more daring among you, shark cage diving with the great white sharks of Gansbaai is always an option. Extra points for choosing an eco-friendly experience.