For a growing segment of vacationers, adventure and not relaxation is the main purpose of the trip. Many travel agencies track trips that have superior wow factor when it comes to adrenaline rushes and that unforgettable excitement factor. The following trips offer something more than scenic beaches and comfy lounge chairs-they truly take adventurers to another place physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Although to many people Antarctica represents the ends of the earth, to some adventurous souls, the continent even further to the south than the land down under is the ideal place to visit. Although the frozen continent is known for its pristine scenery, it is, scientifically speaking, the coldest and driest continent on the planet. And, without any cities-only research stations-the continent is not exactly tourist-friendly. Most travelers who want the wild experience of visiting Antarctica (and are not attached to a particular research project of group there) have several options when it comes to planning a trip. Flights do land there, but contacting a tour operator is the best way to coordinate stays and sight-seeing ventures. Cruises are quite popular and offer various types of tours and activities for intrepid travelers who desire hiking activities, sea kayaking, and animal-watching.
If, on the other hand, you like it hot, you might plan an exciting vacation to Indonesia to explore the volcanoes of Java. This jungle-strewn island is home to no less than forty-two volcanoes including the infamous Krakatoa. Javanese volcano tours are led by volcanologists who guide lava-seekers past steamy craters and other-worldly blue pools, while spewing knowledge about the tumultuous geological history of this section of the Ring of Fire. The travel and hiking is intense; this exciting adventure is not for the faint of heart.
Swimming with fishes and living to tell the tale-is another recent travel trend for adrenaline enthusiasts who find diving with great white sharks to be an adventurous experience. And while most sea-lovers prefer their swim to be shark-free, these courageous few have found the waters off the northwestern coast of Mexico to be particularly promising for swim experiences with the elusive Jaws. And yes, there are companies and guides who specialize in these underwater great white adventures-but they probably require a no-liability form and, hopefully, lots of helpful underwater advice. Shark diving is also popular off the southern coast of South Africa.
Hiking to the top of the world is still regarded as a rite of passage for adventurous souls who have succumbed to the love of mountain climbing. The Himalayas offer great risk, but certainly plenty of adventures for people who want to make the skyward trek up the world’s tallest mountains. For those who make the climb, the experience is said to be spiritual as well as adventuresome. And like many extreme trips, Everest and its fellow peaks require considerable research and physical training before a successful climb is likely to ensue.
A visit to any jungle around the world is fraught with personal risk when one considers the potential for contracting disease or proximity of poisonous creatures. However, the Sundarbans mangrove swamps that lay between India and Burma has an additional hazard-man-eating tigers. The tigers of the Sundarbans have a reputation as man-eaters and this is no myth; but, nevertheless, many travelers desire to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat as well as to witness the extreme landscape. Tours are available for extreme cat lovers who don’t mind trekking through swampy terrain.
If these trips don’t spell excitement for you, consider some of the following trips for which there are also guided operators or tours: rock-climbing in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert landscape, canoeing the Amazon River, tracking Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, white water rafting down the Colorado River, or hiking in Australia’s outback. If you need an adrenaline boost, any of these trips is likely to offer the necessary jolt of excitement.