14 Daredevil Vacations for the Extroverted Traveler
Seeking a bit of adrenaline with your passport stamp? There are plenty of thrilling destinations to visit around the world on your next vacation. Whether you want to challenge your fear of heights with a picturesque hot-air balloon ride or challenge your endurance with some more extreme sporting, there's an adventure for you. With summer around the corner, it's time to start booking your travel—and if you need ideas, these are the best places to visit in April.
But if you're an adrenalin junkie and need more than just a beach to get your heart pumping, then we've rounded up a few incredible experiences that also happen to provide stunning scenery. Read on below and buckle your seat belt!
Hop in a helicopter for a day of biking New Zealand’s rocky ranges. With massive descents of over 6000 feet, the country offers some of the highest heli-biking in the world, including both fast-flowing backcountry routes and narrow, winding trails, all with picture-perfect views.
Though traditional bungee jumping is banned at Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges at 1053 feet, the park’s Royal Rush Skycoaster harnesses riders in for a free fall straight toward the Arkansas River below it, sending them swinging at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
It was only a matter of time before kiteboarding—a warm-weather sport—was adopted for colder climes. The result is snowkiting, and Iceland is one of the best places to do it. Standing at the summit of a glacier, with skis or a snowboard and an inflatable kite attached to your back, set off onto miles of completely untracked snow as far as the eye can see.
At least 4000 feet in the air (4700 feet above sea level), a three-foot-wide walkway clings to one face of Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China, above a rocky ravine. With a glass bottom, the tourist attraction provides a crystal-clear view of where one wrong step could take you.
Snowboarding adapted for sandy terrain, sandboarding, which is popular in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, involves hiking up steep mountains of sand and then zooming down them on a board at out-of-control speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. This beats a camel ride any day of the week.
Established as the world’s top great white shark cage diving destination, Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, a volcanic island off the Baja Peninsula, draws great white shark fans from around the world. Shark-proof diving cages are open to everyone—no scuba certification necessary. All you have to be is brave.
Handout / Getty
If you make it to the Portuguese archipelago of Azores, taking a flying leap from an impressive 88-foot monolith of volcanic stone at Islet Franca do Campo, where Red Bull hosted its Cliff Diving World Series. Created by the crater of an ancient submerged volcano, the location’s waters are deep enough to dive in from such great heights.
An urban adventure in Toronto, EdgeWalk, a hands-free walk around CN Tower’s revolving restaurant, 116 stories off the ground, is not for the faint of heart. Harnessed in at 1168 feet in the air, adventurers take a 20- to 30-minute walk above the city, taking in incredible views and testing their fears.
The most famous climb in Utah, which was featured in a Citibank commercial, the Stolen Chimney is a rock climbing route known for its final, corkscrew-shaped tower summit. Not only is it visually striking, but it’s also technically quite difficult. This dangerous spire is not for novice climbers.
Wish you could experience Storm Chasers in real life? Storm Chasing Adventure Tours guides visitors through Tornado Alley, the geographical region in the U.S. where tornados are most prevalent, to experience the frightful weather up close and personal on a thrilling tour. Over the course of six days, you’ll traverse a number of states throughout the Great Plains and study the storms using the most advanced radars and technology.
Why climb Mount Everest when you can fly? Everest Skydive not only takes you 29,000 feet over Mount Everest—the highest skydive in the world—but it also takes you into the heart of the Sherpa country. The adrenaline rush you get from your free fall is guaranteed to be unrivaled.
The longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps, Trift Bridge is 328 feet high and 557 feet long, hanging high above the Trift Glacier. Spanning Lake Triftsee, it can only be reached by a gondola, and the bridge itself takes between one and a half and two hours to traverse.
One of the greatest places to go B.A.S.E. jumping—i.e., parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff—is Norway. The country has numerous popular exit spots, and if you’re not ready to jump, Fjord Norway, in the west, has a handful of spots, including in Kjerag, that allow spectators to watch the death-defying B.A.S.E. jumpers.
What better way to take in the panoramic views of the endless plains of the Serengeti, one of Africa’s most magnificent landscapes, and admire the spectacular wildlife, than from a vibrant hot-air balloon? If you’re fearful of heights, this unforgettable experience will test your mental limits.
What's the most adventurous trip you've ever taken? Tell us in the comments.
Update: This story was originally published on August 4, 2015. Updated by Sacha Strebe.