It’s easier than ever before for adventurous travelers to explore new and exciting destinations around the globe. Whether you want to zip-line through the Borneo rainforest or take a more relaxed approach to adventure travel, there is a huge range of ways to discover the world. You can book an organized trip or tailor your own, leaving some flexibility to change your plans and explore off the beaten track. And you can do it on all continents – take a look at the best spots chosen below.
Australasia and Pacific
Australia and New Zealand are great countries for outdoor activities, with everything from bungee jumping and zip-lining to kayaking, kitesurfing and diving.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is the undisputed capital of adventure activities in New Zealand. Here you can get your adrenaline pumping with any number of activities. From throwing yourself off a perfectly good bridge in the home of bungee jumping to flying along the Shotover River in a jetboat. You definitely have lots of options.
Of course, you can also do the more run of the mill adventures here such as trekking (or tramping as they like to call it), skiing, and almost anything else adventure related you can think of. In fact, Queenstown is a great place to base yourself for a whole host of amazing day trips in the area.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
In Australia, you can go on bush walks and learn about the Aboriginal way of life or snorkel in the paradise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. This is the largest reef in the world and home to a spectacular range of fish, coral and all variety of marine mammals you will almost never see in one place again!
The Middle East is a great place for starting or finishing a round-the-world trip, but there are so many fantastic destinations to choose from.
Like something out of an Indiana Jones movie (oh wait, it is from the third in the Trilogy!) Petra rises up as you enter the tight canyon, often by horse, carved right out of the rock face in front. There is more to this location that what you see in this one famous photo, so take some time to explore.
The Pyramids, Cairo, Egypt
Egypt has more ancient gems to discover all the way down the Nile river, but you just can’t go past the famous Pyramids of Giza, right outside of downtown Cairo. More movies that you can possibly count have featured these stone structures, but nothing beats heading here in person and gazing straight up in sheer awe!
Canada and the US are definitely not to be overlooked when it comes to adventure travel. Activities to try include skiing, wilderness camping, horse-riding, kayaking, whale-watching and so much more. The Rockies are beautifully wild and remote, while the US has an incredible range of landscapes, from scorching desert environments and majestic canyons to serene lakes and pine-clad forests. Throw in some of the most exciting cities in the world and you have the perfect holiday.
For me, Canada is full of fond memories of my first big backpacking trip, so I might be a little biased. Most people, like me, will flock to the Canadian Rockies and places like Banff and Lake Louise. However, there is also a lot to see in more off-the-beaten-path places like Vancouver Island. You can do anything from mountain biking and hiking to sea kayaking and whale watching.
However, there are also some more unexpected sights around the capital Victoria. You can check out some of the nearby castles, for example, something you would not expect to see in a country like Canada!
Hill Tribes & Beaches Of Thailand
From the mountains of northern India to the hills of northern Thailand … Discover a more traditional way of life by visiting hill tribes in the region. In the palm-fringed south, go beach-hopping and snorkel or scuba in some of the best diving locations in the world.
In the north, the most popular city is Chiang Mai. Which you might have heard about. This is a great launching point for some time in the hills and great overnight treks you can do in the area.
But in the south is where all the spectacular beaches and islands are. The ones you have seen in The Beach. Which have kinda been ruined by over-tourism in the meantime!
Places like Phi Phi Island or Krabi are still (maybe) not as popular, and from my experience there I can certainly say they are stunning. With white sand beaches, typical Thai boats resting on the shore, and the hospitality and food we have all come to know and love. What more could you ask for?
Asia is simply huge, stretching across a vast landscape of changing cultures and environments. In northern Asia there are adventures to be found in the soaring Himalaya, from the beautiful Annapurna region of Nepal to the mountainous regions of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Shimla in India. Hike, sip tea, and discover a world of mountain hamlets, temples and monasteries.
The Jungles of Borneo
There are not many places in the world that have been left undeveloped, but the island of Borneo is still a great place to escape the modern world. One of the best ways to do this is to go on a trek deep into the Borneo jungle and explore nature as it was meant to be. Just be prepared for a little discomfort because when things get hot and steamy, things like leeches come out to play!
Vietname & The Mekong Delta
You could homestay with families in the Mekong delta, explore the fragrant cuisine and the bustling markets of Vietnam, and cycle through rural villages in the peaceful Mai Chau region. It is, after all, one of the most renowned waterways in the world.
But it is not the only thing you should see while spending some time in Vietnam. The capital Saigon (or now known as Ho Chi Minh City) is worth spending a few days in, as is Hanoi in the north.
And while you are traveling the length of this spectacular country, stop of the smaller, but equally worthy Hue and Hoi An along the way.
For those wanting a little relaxation, you should definitely take some time for Mui Ne, which is a great beach destination that many a visitor to Vietnam raves about!
Africa is the quintessential continent for adventure travel. Opportunities for safaris abound, from the Kruger National Park in South Africa to the plains of Kenya and the wilds of Uganda. Or you could get off the tourist trail and explore the regions of Ghana and Togo by truck, camping in the bush under the stars by night.
With the ancient Mayan ruins and lush jungles of Belize, the volcanoes and beaches of Costa Rica, the amazing landscapes and festivals of Mexico and an array of stunning pristine beaches, Central America has an amazing range of opportunities for adventure travel and activities. You can hike, canoe, dive, and kayak, or explore historic settlements and learn about the amazing natural ecosystems of this part of the world.
In South America, the Inca ruins in Peru culminate in incredible Machu Picchu, while Argentina has the remote and beautiful wilds of Patagonia to hike and Bolivia has a breathtaking high altitude landscape of mountains and salt lakes. White-water raft down cascading rivers in Ecuador, discover ancient legends on Easter Island or party in Rio de Janeiro: South America offers everything from vibrant festivals to remote wildernesses.
Adventure travel holidays come in all shapes and sizes and mean different things to different people. But the above is just a taste of some of the best activities to consider and the countries to do them in.
Jim Reeves is a travel blogger who has spent the last six years on the road.