What is Adventure Travel?
Compared to other forms of travel, adventure travel is defined as being a type of tourism that involves one or more of the following things:
- Physical challenging activities (usually outdoors in nature)
- A cultural exchange and/or
- Travel to a remote or exotic location
According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure tourism is all about connecting with new cultures or landscapes, and being physically active at the same time.
You may also be involved in an activity that requires significant effort or involves some degree of risk, real or perceived.
- Bungee Jumping
- Mountain Biking
- Scuba Diving
- White Water Rafting
- Rock Climbing & Abseiling
One of the greatest things about adventure travel (compared to many other forms of travel) is that it directly supports local communities and promotes the development of new infrastructure.
The demand for Adventure Travel has risen over the past decade due to more travellers wanting to travel in a way that allows them to:
- Go off the beaten track
- Be more eco-friendly and
- Give back to local communities
Adventure travel is less about looking pretty or photoshopping incredible photos.
Instead it’s about exploring the world as it is, experiencing new cultures and exposing yourself to new adventures whilst discovering the key elements of yourself.
Doing this can and will change your life.
Who is Adventure Travel for?
Adventure travel does not discriminate.
Anyone can be an adventurous traveller, whether you’re young, old, a nature nut or an adrenaline junkie seeking your next rush.
There’s always plenty of activities you can do all around the world that come under the umbrella of Adventure Travel.
There are some “softer” forms of adventure travel (Eg. activities seen as having less risk and intensity), whereas others are more extreme requiring you to step outside of your comfort zone or take on an element of risk.
Now that I’ve explained what Adventure Travel is, let’s now look at some of the best places adventure travel destinations to tick off your bucket list!
6 Adventure Travel Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List!
Throughout my travels, I have found that you find adventure in almost any foreign place.
However, like anything, there are always those that stand out – with better infrastructure, landscapes and/or communities to support adventure-packed experiences.
Here are the top 6 adventure travel destinations that I believe are superior to get you that adrenaline rush you seek or actively exploring amongst nature.
If you have any others you think I should add to the list, please let me know!
1) Adventure Travel in Africa
Throughout my travels, Africa was definitely one of those stand out places. It has an aura about it that you just can’t get anywhere else.
The feeling that anything could happen or that you’ll experience something that’s never happened before.
As they often say, “TIA. THIS IS AFRICA.”
For my fellow thrill-seeking souls, Africa has everything you could possibly want when it comes to adventure travel.
From jumping off the world’s highest bridge bungee, 4X4 driving over sand dunes, cage shark diving, or even doing a safari drive to catch a glimpse of the Big 5, in Africa you can do it all.
Here’s some of the many adventure travel activities you can do in Africa:
- Jump off the world’s highest Bridge Bungee (Bloukrans Bridge Bungee) on the Garden route (South Africa)
- Venture to Kruger National Park for a Safari/Game Drive and spot the Big 5 (South Africa)
- Victoria Falls Gorge Swing Flying Fox Jump (Zimbabwe)
- Volunteer by teaching English in a local community in Tanzania or Malawi
- Witness the magic of the great pyramids, temples and Nile River in Egypt
- Ride by camel through the Sahara Desert and camp overnight in a traditional Bedouin tent
- Hike through wild jungle to see the Gorillas in Uganda
- Climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Witness the great migration in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve
- Sleep under the stars in Spitzkoppe and hike up some of the world’s oldest sand dunes (Namibia)
- Go scuba diving and snorkeling off Zanzibar beach (Tanzania)
Now this is only a tiny snippet of all the adventure activities you can do in Africa.
To read more about Africa and all the adventure activities you can do there, click here.
2. Adventure Travel in Australia
Yes this is my home country, so I may be a touch biased. BUT, there is honestly so much adventure and fun to be had on this massive island.
Australia boasts some of the world’s oldest rainforests, reefs and deserts which are a true wonder to explore.
Here are some of the best adventure experiences you can do in Australia:
- Dive and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
- Hire a campervan and overland through Tasmania
- Visit the Daintree rainforest and hike through Cape Tribulation (Queensland)
- Go Bungee Jumping in Cairns, Queensland
- Visit the red center of Uluru and sleep under the stars in the Northern Territory
- Learn how to surf at one of the many beaches along the east coast of Australia.
- Go Skydiving over famous wine regions and beaches (Victoria)
- Experience hot air ballooning with stunning views of Perth CBD
- Grab a paddle and go With Water Rafting in Queensland and surrounds
There is honestly so much you can do in Australia. Sadly, I do not have the time to list them all for you now.
To read more about Australia travel destinations click here.
- Plane Aerobatics | What it is & the Best Aerobatics Flight Locations in Australia
- The Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Australia
- Hot Air Ballooning in Australia | The Best Locations & Tips for Beginners
- The Best White Water Rafting Locations in Australia
In addition to adventure sports, Australia also contains a rich history. Aboriginal people are believed to be the oldest living descendants of the first people to leave Africa up to 75,000 years ago.
A genetic study even revealed that the aboriginal people may have the oldest continuous culture on the planet.
One limitation you may have in Australia, is the availability of bungy jumping. Right now, this adrenaline-packed adventure sport is only offered in Cairns.
If bungy jumping is a non-negotiable for you, then I’d suggest you do a hop, skip and jump over to New Zealand. This is where bungee jumping is abundantly available.
I’ll talk more about this below.
3. Adventurous Travel in New Zealand
Located right next to Australia sits one of the best adventure capitals of them all, New Zealand.
New Zealand is renowned for adventure tourism and boasts some of the world’s most stunning scenery.
You’re sure to find an activity that will not only scare the pants off you but will also leave you grinning from ear to ear.
In Queenstown alone, you can enjoy:
- Jet boating
- Horse riding
- Bungy jumping
- Mountain biking
- White Water Rafting
- Off-roading / Four wheel driving
- Skylounge Gondola and high-speed luge (toboggan)
Whatever tickles your fancy really…
Some other great adventure activities you can do in New Zealand include:
- Quad biking
- Skiing and snowboarding
- And much much more!
If you’ve not been to New Zealand yet, it is definitely an adventure travel destination to add to the top of your bucket list.
Here are some great adventure activities you can try in New Zealand:
4. Adventure Travel in North America
Following on from Africa, Australia and New Zealand, North America is another great adventure travel destination.
For those who aren’t geographically literate (ie. me), North America consists of:
- Mexico and
According to Google anyway…
To be honest, I was surprised. I didn’t realise that Greenland was a part of America.
I guess you learn something new everyday.
There are so many adventurous activities you can do on this continent including:
- Going canyoneering through Moab, Utah
- Mountain bike riding around South Lake Tahoe, California
- Experiencing your first aerobatics flight over Las Vegas
- Scuba diving off the coast of Mexico
- Volunteering in Costa Rica
- Kayaking with Whales in British Columbia, Canada
- Dog sledding or ice fishing in Greenland
- Spend a night under the stars watching the magical Northern lights in Alaska
5. Travelling in South America
Now it’s time to talk about South America.
South America is actually my next bucket list destination. I CANNOT wait to travel there next year (assuming all quietens down with COVID).
What an epic place for an adventure.
If adventure travel is your jam, and you haven’t considered South America as a destination on your bucket list, then my friend, you’re in for a treat.
I believe that South America is one of the best adventure travel destinations in the world.
Whilst travelling across the continent, you can:
- Hike the famous Inca trail through the Andes mountains, and witness the abandoned city of Machu Picchu
- Stay overnight and cleanse amongst nature in the Amazon jungle
- Sail to the Galapagos islands (Ecuador) to witness a diverse range of plant and animal species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
- 4WD through the white wilderness of the salt flats in Bolivia
- Go paragliding over the city of Lima, the capital of Peru
- Trek to the ends of the earth to see the polar glaciers of Argentina and Chile
In addition to adventure activities, South America is extremely rich in culture.
There are many ways to inject yourself into the local community to experience the country through their eyes.
Whether it be visiting a woman’s co-op, volunteering within the community, doing a street Latin dance class or even attending a local school to learn Spanish.
Whatever you choose to do, I am sure that you won’t return home disappointed after visiting South America.
6. Adventure Travel in Europe & the UK
If you’re into history, Europe is the place to go.
Especially if you’re after an action packed experience, but want to avoid culture shock. Assuming you’re from a Western country…
When you go travelling through Europe and the UK, you will be able to access a plethora of adventure sports and experiences.
One of the greatest benefits of Europe and the UK, is that everything is so close together.
Moving between cities, and even countries for that fact, is super easy compared to some of the other main continents. Getting around as a tourist is never a problem (in the main touristy countries anyway).
If you’re seeking an adventure in Europe or the UK, here are some things you can do:
- Give surfing a go at “The Wave” in Bristol. It is an inland surf destination where you can surf on consistent, safe waves all year round.
- Hire a kayak and witness the stunning scenery along the Scottish coast and highlands.
- Grab a paddle and speed down the crazy white water rapids of the River Tryweryn (Snowdonia National Park) in Wales
- Go bungee jumping at Bray Lake or Tatton Park in Cheshire, England
- Paraglide like a bird over the Austrian Tyrol
- Get in touch with your inner bike rider in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Go kite surfing or horse riding in Spain
- Venture across the border into Portugal to get your adrenaline rushing with some downhill mountain bike riding
- Show your skiing moves at Mont Blanc in France
- And so many more!
So there you have it!
In this article, we’ve explained what adventure travel is and why it’s such a fantastic form of travel to get involved with.
I’ve also outlined the best adventure travel destinations (in my opinion) and some adventure activities and experiences you can do within these locations.
Also, if you have any other destinations that you believe should be added to this list, let me know so I can add them to the list.
If you’re keen to start doing some adventure travel, ensure to head over to Get Your Guide. They showcase a ton of different adventure activities from all over the world. Many which I am sure you will enjoy.