Last Updated on 11/4/2020
Do you like a good thrill and enjoy getting your blood pumping? When it comes to a beach vacation, you’d rather windsurf than suntan? If you answered yes to those questions, you might be what we call an adrenaline junkie. Don’t worry – we get it. After all, some of the most beautiful and exciting adventures in the world involve a little risk.
Adventurous spirits can come at a hefty price. Often, travelers will shell out thousands of dollars and hours of flying time just to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience that ends way too quickly. $5,000 and 10 hours of flying for an afternoon of heli-skiing? That’s not much of a bang for your buck in our opinion.
If you’re a real adrenaline junkie, try maximizing your experience by traveling to a destination that offers multiple activities instead of just one. Travel to a place where you can zipline one day and whitewater raft the next, for example. To help you narrow your options, here’s a list of the most jaw-dropping and awesome destinations for the adventure-inclined traveler:
New Zealand’s South Island
Interested in racing down a hill in an inflatable ball? What about bungee jumping from the third highest platform in the world? Only in the tiny country of New Zealand can you do both activities in the same day – the country’s South Island is a go-to spot for adrenaline junkies. Its wild west coast attracts surfers and hikers who come for the waves and hills, but end up staying to explore Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, either by foot or helicopter (or both!). Adventuring across the South Island’s west coast takes about a week and still leaves you with 70% of the island to see. Meaning, you could spend a month in New Zealand without running out of ground to cover and activities to do on your trip.
If you have the time, we recommend you plan a hiking break to visit the beloved village of Wanaka—home to a stunning lake and some of the best downhill skiing in the Southern Alps. Consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to skydive, Wanaka is a quieter alternative to the party-heavy scene in Queenstown (which, by the way, is also totally worth visiting). If you can survive the 23-hour flight, the South Island will richly reward your adventurous spirit.
If you’re traveling to New Zealand, we cannot stress enough the importance of a quality adventure travel insurance plan. There are simply too many things that can go wrong for an explorer in a country that is so laid-back and off-the-beaten path – make sure you’re covered to take full advantage of your trip.
La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, adventure is a way of life. Costa Ricans embody the pura vida (“pure life”) lifestyle by enthusiastically exploring their country’s rich outdoors. The locals encourage tourists to do so, too! Unless you’re an experienced surfer, the city of La Fortuna will offer you the most adventure at the lowest price. La Fortuna serves as the entry point to Arenal Volcano National Park. Within this park’s gates, seemingly endless thrilling opportunities await. From soaking in volcanic hot springs to whitewater rafting, there’s something for every kind of adventurer in this park. And for the more advanced adrenaline junkie, there’s mountain biking, cliff jumping and spelunking to chose from, too. If you’ve ever wondered where people take all those beautiful photos of the country’s waterfalls, look no further – it’s in Arenal. The photo opportunities alone make the gnarly hikes through this park totally worthwhile.
** Bonus Destination: Monteverde
It’s hard to recommend just one spot in Costa Rica, as adventure for thrillseekers are available in almost every corner of the country. While we had to share La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano National Park with you, we’d be remiss if we failed to include the amazing Monteverde region in this travel list. Home to the most famous and awe-inspiring cloud forests in the world, Monteverde is truly Costa Rica’s crown jewel. It’s bigger on biodiversity than it is on adventure. But if you ask us, the opportunity to zipline across humid treetops and spot over 500 species of birds in a single day creates a breathtaking trip–like spelunking down a rainbow-streaked waterfall!
Just north of the United States sits Vancouver, Canada’s “fittest” city–and for good reason. Vancouver is flanked by a spectacular bay to the west and craggy mountains to the west and north. Wherever you are in downtown Vancouver, you’re only a stone’s throw away from some of the best excursions the world has to offer. World-class skiing awaits the daring at Whistler, while dozens of steep hiking trails offer rewarding views of crystal blue, glacier lakes. Looking to get a really good workout? Try climbing Grouse Mountain, a hike so infamously difficult, it’s known around the world as “The Grouse Grind”. Only the bravest and most in-shape hikers attempt the climb. The few who reach the peak of Grouse Mountain discover a rewarding, panoramic view of Vancouver, along with the pride of conquering one of the region’s toughest climbs.
We should mention that travel insurance is an important part of making sure you’re covered if your activities go awry. We think there’s nothing worse than getting hurt in a foreign country AND having large medical bills roll in after you get home. With an adventure travel insurance policy, you wouldn’t have to worry about being covered. Compare travel insurance quotes today and get instant peace of mind!
It’s always the right time to start thinking about your next, big adventure. Where do you go to get an adrenaline rush? Did we leave any of your favorite places off this list? If so, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.