The 12 Best Places for Adventure Travel Holidays Across the Seven Continents

Adventure is good. Adventure says a lot about who we are as people. How we interact with it, the kind of adventure we seek, our reasons for doing it… these things weaved together tell a story.

The adventure keeps us alive; without it, we stagnate. We work our 9 to 5 so we can come home afterwards, cook dinner, binge Netflix on the couch with our significant other, and then – if we’re lucky and not too tired – a banal quickie before we hit the sack.

Even writing that paragraph gave me an existential crisis.

 

A single adventurer on a hiking trip in Pakistan

It’s good to get lost sometimes.

 

So what’s the remedy to all that deep-seated nihilistic fear and loathing? Quite simply, an adventure! Nature, the elements, adrenaline, almost falling off mountaintops dicking around and being a dillweed: now you’re really living!

So, you’re considering some good ol’ travel adventures. Well, this is the list for you: the 12 best places for an adventure travel holiday. It’s also quite a good list if I do say so myself; at least one offering from every continent!

The activities vary, the environments vary, the budgets vary but the feeling of truly being alive remains the same among these adventure tourism destinations. These are the bucket list trips of a lifetime!

To, you know… distract you from the gnawing meaninglessness of existence.

 

A couple on an adventure holiday

This is better.

The 12 Best Places for an Adventure Travel Holiday

Sweet, we’re here! The part you’ve all been waiting for. The best places for adventure travel!

They may not necessarily be the most adventurous countries (depending on your perception of ‘adventurous’) but then some, I’d argue, are pretty far out. That’s what I’m saying: we got something for everyone! It’s like Baskin Robbins if Baskin Robbins only had 12 flavours.

 

The best places for adventure travel are like this ice-cream

This is a metaphorical representation of your next adventure holiday.

 

Pakistan: For The Best Places for Adventure Travel that Makes People Go “Seriously!?”

I bet you weren’t expecting this to make the list of the best places for adventure travel holidays!

Yep, let’s talk Pakistan. And before we do, you’re gonna have to leave all your stigmas at the door (along with your shoes, thank you very much)! Our governments’ travel warnings and media organisations have painted certain parts of the world a certain way and if you listened to the boys and girls in charge all the time, you’d never have any fun.

Pakistan is one of those places where you’re taking adventure tourism to the next level and dropping a lot of the ‘tourism’ in the process. If your idea of the best adventure holidays anywhere in the world is a lot of beautiful nature with a lot of friendly, inquisitive people, it’s worth flying in the face of the status quo and travelling to Pakistan. I mean, that’s the whole point of a travel adventure, right?

You’ll find a lot of trekking in Pakistan with something for everyone from chill day hikes all the way up to the 18-day trek to the K2 base camp (the second-highest mountain in the world). If you’re an avid trekker, the Karakoram range is magnificent and a true feat to experience.

 

An extreme adventure trip in Pakistan's Karakoram

Yum.

 

But hey, I know just where to go for the best adventure tour in Pakistan! It’s called Epic Backpacker Tours and it’s an epic (heh) project initiated by the Broke Backpacker himself, Mr Will Hatton, after his travels and subsequent falling-in-love with Pakistan.

You can check out the tour review here for the rundown and itinerary. All things said it’s from a trustworthy human that has legitimately formed a deep connection with the people and land over many journeys. If you’re looking for one of the best adventure holiday tours in a far-out and distant land that you can sink your teeth into, welcome to Pakistan.

Alternatively, you can try going it solo to discover one of the most adventurous countries in the world all by your lonesome.

Check Out Pakistan

 

Adventure Travel in New Zealand: It’s a Multi-Buy!

The good thing about adventure travel in New Zealand is that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. It’s like seriously seven countries in one.

Ice-capped mountains? Check. Petrified forests? Check. Prehistoric coastline? Check. Uninhabited fjords? Check.

And that’s just the South Island!

New Zealand’s adventure tourism options have a flavour for everyone, and the closeness of everything (New Zealand really ain’t that big) makes it one of the best countries for adventure sports.

The Great Walks offer multiple levels of trekking from the well-worn Abel Tasman to the near-undisturbed Stewart Island. Or, you know, you could just walk the entirety of New Zealand; I met a dude that did it without shoes. That’s pretty metal.

There’s plenty of rock climbing in New Zealand too. In fact, it would be fair to call the Castle Hill Basin a proverbial boulder playground.

 

Bouldering in Castle Hill is a great adventure trip for singles

Yeeeee, boulders! | image source: Jocelyn Kinghorn (Flickr)

 

There’s Zorbing in Rotorua! It’s ok, you don’t have to pretend to care; I just wanted to let you know. Rotorua is one of the best places for adventure travel activities on North Island, however.

But where’s New Zealand’s best overall adventure holiday destination? Easy one, man. It’s Queenstown: the go-to for adventure travel sports and activities in New Zealand.

You’ve got the beautiful weather on the lake in the summer months and then, come winter, all the snowbums roll in for the powder season. A year-long travel adventure backpacking epicentre.

So what other adventure activities are there? Its mega-famous for bungy jumping, ziplining, or you can book a skydiving tour. Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world to do it.

Oh, and if you get bored, beautiful, darling Wanaka is about an hour’s drive away… and it’s way better!

Check Out Queenstown Skydiving

 

Nepal: Holy Mountains and a Booming Adventure Tourism Industry

A booming adventure tourism industry describes Nepal well and is illustrated in the Mount Everest summit stats. The past decade has seen near-consistent growth in tourist arrivals to Nepal. 

How come? Hmm, I can’t be certain but it may have something to do with the Himalayas… Nepal is the ‘roof of the world’ after all.

So what type of adventure tourism can you expect from Nepal? Well, again, it’s the Himalayan Mountains… so… a lot of mountaineering. Mind you, this is final-boss-level mountaineering I’m talking about. The proper hardcore deal.

I would request you refrain from climbing Everest though, in case you hadn’t already figured out that I was going to do that – responsible tourism and all that jazz. We’ll cover the impacts of adventure tourism later on.

Nepal is also a trekkers heaven. Disappear (safely) into the Annapurna range which strikes a nice balance between both culturally authentic and tourist accessible. But pick your timing right: outside peak season but close to the cusp for the best of both worlds.

Alternatively, just pick a direction and start walking. The further out you get to where the whiteys don’t go, the more spectacular and strange Nepal becomes. The chaos of India slowed down by the pace of mountain life. 

I’ve even heard whispers of a pristine ancient lake too; they say… Rara.

 

The best adventure holiday couple there ever was

Rara…

 

And then there’s Pokhara. I have to talk about Pokhara because it may just be my backpacking Mecca: my bubble town. Pokhara, in many ways, is like Queenstown. Only it’s slower, it’s more chill, and you smoke hash instead of greenery.

There’s a lot of adventure tourism activities around Pokhara now (as the industry has grown). Paragliding, (more) trekking, and there’s some dope rafting around too. I smoked up with a couple of the guys who were working the rafting tours. There’s even a cheaps-as-chips bouldering gym in town to counter all the joints and cheap cake!

Honestly, it’s easy for me to spin Pokhara as one of the best adventure holiday destinations for singles and solo travellers. It is so chill with so much to do, it’s so cheap, and there are tonnes of new faces and solo adventurers filtering in every day! There’s a distinct quality to be found in many of the travellers that are attracted to Nepal.

 

Check Out Pokhara Paragliding     Check Out Seti River Rafting

 

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Pura Vida Costa Rica: The Birthplace of the Zipline

Yup, that’s right. The birthplace of the zipline. So, now you know number one on your list of adventure activities to do in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has got a lot to offer the adventure traveller: jungles, beaches, volcanoes. The nature in Costa Rica is stunning and one of the main draws for travellers there. It’s also one of the reasons that Costa Rica has remained one of the world’s best places for adventure travel for so long.

It’s natural magnetism to travellers and ex-pats alike has made Costa Rica both a fantastic and varied place to travel. It’s also caused its prices to rise and become one of the more expensive choices for adventure holidays in Central America.

The trade-off? It’s the goddamn birthplace of the zipline, remember?

 

The famous Costa Rica Zipline and the birth of the canopy-surfing adventure tourism

The public transport in Costa Rica is fairly serviceable. | image source: Steven Depolo (Flickr)

 

Picture this: you’re cruising along at a cool 70km/hr. Beneath you, the rippling greens of the jungle canopy blur together. At the end of the line, a crew of trained squirrel monkeys await your arrival, a chilled refresco and caramel flan in hand. Ok, I made that last bit up.

La Fortuna is your best destination for adventure tourism in Costa Rica. It’s a small town close to the piercing Arenal Volcano (who is an absolutely magnificent creature). In the area, you’ll find hiking, canyoning, rafting, and of course, the jungle zipline!

And, if you’re more of a beach person, head towards Costa Rica’s coast for snorkelling and scuba diving action.

But do so simply; it is Costa Rica.

 

Check Out Arenal Volcano Tour     Check Out La Fortuna Zipline    Check Out Balsa River Rafting

 

USA Adventure Travel: The United States of Awesome

Heading north from Central America takes us to… North America. Yeah, that makes sense.

What will you find in the US? Holy shit, dude, so so much! The US is incredible: it’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s chock full of travel adventure destinations. There are so many adventurous places in the USA to visit.

 

Moab is one of the best places for adventure travel in the USA

The world-famous mountain biking of Moab, Utah.

 

So, where to travel for adventures in the USA? God, what do you like? Canyons, mountains, coasts, great lakes, rivers, prairies… it’s all there.

  • Moab (Utah) takes the top pick as one of the best places for an adventure vacation in the USA. It is the go-to for mountain biking with courses ranging from the beginner all the way up to the ‘holy shit, I might die’. You’ll also find heaps of sweet rafting, ATV driving, horseback riding… it’s an adrenaline junkie’s desert playground!
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) has hiking and hot springs. That’s a no brainer! Anywhere that has hot springs (Best Adventure Holidays Honourable Mentions: Japan) is going to make for a top trip.
  • Colorado: home of the Rocky Mountains! What do you get there? Mate, were you not listening; I just told you – the Rocky Mountains! Hikes, rock climbing, and legal bud; it may just be heaven-on-earth. Oh, and another zipline!
  • Yosemite National Park (Cally) is the impossible-to-not-mention choice. The undisputed king of the USA’s national parks featuring the truly staggering peaks of free-soloing ‘What’s a rope?’ Alex Honnold fame.

 

Check Out Moab ATVing    Check Out Colorado River Rafting     Check Out Colorado Zipline

 

 

Argentina: Travel Adventures at the End of the World

If you head in the other direction from Central America (by which I mean south) you get to South America. That also makes sense. 

There are a lot of kick-ass destinations for adventure trips in South America: Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador jump to mind. But Argentina has Patagonia. And I’m all about those harsh, sparsely populated wildernesses.

This idea for adventure travel is not for the faint of heart; you’re heading into challenging terrain. Look at a map of Argentina. You’re nearly at the bottom of the world. But challenging is the whole point, right?

 

An adventure holiday in argentina

Meanwhile, at the end of the world.

 

Glaciers hikes, mountain treks, and wildlife and, for the truly metal, climbing and mountaineering. And Patagonia is only one region of Argentina. It’s a big damn country with a lot of cool places to see (the Ibera Wetlands come to mind; a kayak adventure to meet the native beasties of Argentina).

Hell, consider travelling it in a campervan. It didn’t quite make my list of the best countries for van travel but it was the runner-up honourable mention. 

Argentina is so big and so damn gorgeous that it’s picking up steam as one of the best places for adventure travel in a van. And, given it’s cheaper cost to travel, a van makes perfect sense for an adventure vacation on a budget.

The northernmost point to the southernmost point of the land at the end of the world… now that’s a journey!

 

Check Out Patagonia Glacier Hike    Climbing an ice waterfall is an ultimate bucket list idea Did I mention the frozen waterfall?[/caption]

 

Banff is one of your best adventure travel destinations in Canada. You’ll find the aforementioned ice-climbing there (yesssss) plus a bunch of other cool shit: national parks to adventure in, hot springs, and horseback riding.

North from Banff (and not too far by Canadian standards) is Jasper National Park with more wilderness and hikes. If in your adventures it’s the best places to escape and be alone that you’re seeking, travelling the Canadian wilderness has what you need.

Just watch out for bears. They make a spray for that. Oh, and the Japanese fashion some pretty nifty bells.

 

Check Out Banff Climbing Tour    Check Out Banff Horseback Riding

 

Mongolia: The OG Nomads

This is one of the best adventure holidays in Asia as far as I’m concerned. It’s a long-time dream of mine: to ride a horse on the plains of Mongolia. I haven’t done it yet – timing is important – so I’m recommending you to do it.

Why? Well, if you want to truly call yourself a nomad, then you gotta be a damn nomad! A horse on the plateaus of Mongolia (camels count too): searching for water for your travelling companion (I’d name mine Baba Ganoush) and shooting at horse thieves with your bow (a statistical anomaly but so appealing)!

I met a good dude in New Zealand. He’d never ridden a horse before and he was curious, so he went to Mongolia and made his very own horseback adventure tour. Now that is bad-ass!

 

Mongolia is my best adventure holiday in Asia

The OGs of address-less living. | image source: Altaihunters (Wikicommons)

 

Seriously though, Mongolia is a country of beautiful yet unforgiving terrain and the Mongolian people have unlocked its secrets, able to live nomadically and tend livestock amongst its deserts, plains, and hills. It’s also smack-bang between Russia and China so wherever you go, you’ll be off the beaten track.

If you’re interested in Mongolian culture, I’d recommend being there in October. Every year in the first week of October is the Golden Eagle Festival where you can see skill contests in archery, wrestling and eagle hunting. Not hunting eagles but hunting with eagles –  they’re the OG nomads, man!

 

Check Out Camel and Horse Trek

 

China: For The Next Best Place for Adventure Travel that Make People Say “You went where!?”

Good ol’ communist China: the antithesis to the American Dream. It’s the world’s largest country by population and third-largest by landmass. It’s also like going to another planet so, if you can’t get ‘off the beaten track’ there, you’re probably doing something wrong.

For more adventure travel in Asia, China has got you covered (which isn’t hard considering its humongous scope). You’ll almost always be safe in China and you’ll almost always be mildly-to-noticeably uncomfortable too which makes for some of the most character-building adventure holidays for both single travellers and couples. It’s also a solid destination choice for a cheap adventure holiday; it’s not as cheap as, say, Nepal, but it’s cheaper than most people realise (especially if you’re out camping in nature).

 

Mount Huashan is the top trips in China's adventure tourism

Do it. What’s the worst that can happen? | image source: SunriseOdyssey (Flickr)

 

So, what kind of adventure activities await in China? Well, trekking galore; I’ve heard the Great Wall is kind of long and, yup, you can camp on it! Or you can visit Tiger Leaping Gorge or Mount Huashan which is considered one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. Deadly hiking in China: now that’s an extreme adventure vacation!

There is also a lot of good rock climbing in China. My… step-brother now… I guess (life is weird), showed me photos of his top trip to Yangshuo and oh my god the structures! The overhangs! I die!

I mean, hell, just buy a bicycle and see how far you can get across the supreme landscape. It’s China, you’re pretty much guaranteed an adventure no matter where you go!

 

Check Out Mutianyu Great Wall Hike

 

Zimbabwe: For Those Who Like Their Travel Adventures with Sun and Crocodiles

There’s three more entries on our list and three more continents to explore. Let’s make a shift over to Africa now… to Zimbabwe! And, given the nature of the geography there, to Zambia too… bonus adventure!

If we’re talking Zimbabwe adventures, we’re talking Victoria Falls. A small town close to the Zambezi River, the border with Zambia and, appropriately, Victoria Falls. Oh, and the falls? They’re drop-dead breathtakingly ‘life is beautiful’ gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

 

Victoria Falls is a hotspot for adventure travel in Africa

Life is beautiful. | image source: DoctorJoeE (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Given the town’s close proximity to the falls (hence the shared name), Victoria Falls has built itself up as the best adventure holiday destination in Africa. You’ll find a huge scope of adventure activities in Victoria Falls including bungy-jumping, gorge-swinging, flying foxes, rapid rafting (I’m talking those infamous grade V and VI options), and cage diving with crocodiles. Diving with crocs… it’s an adrenaline junkie’s paradise!

It’s also warm and there’s swimming and it’s a nice change of pace from the freezing-cold murderous wildernesses I keep sending you to (just wait for the last two entries on this list, muahahaha)!

And since you’re in Zimbabwe (and how often do you end up over that way, realistically) maybe explore the rest of the country. Victoria Falls is surrounded by gorgeous national parks and there are plenty of adventure safari tours to partake in.

 

Check Out Zambezi River Rafting    Check Out Victoria Falls Safari Tour

 

Scandinavia Travel Adventures: Freedom to Roam

Right, let’s talk adventure holidays in Europe because so far it’s kind of a glaring omission on this list. Are we talking the stunning (and warm) Amalfi Coast or the tranquil (and warm) beaches of Portugal? Hah, nope, it’s back to freezing your tits off: suck it up, nerd!

And yes, I know that:

  1. Scandinavia is not a country but shut up. It’s a ‘best places for adventure travel’ list. And-
  2. Norway is not in Europe but shut up!

I think the reasons to send you to Scandinavia should be relatively obvious: a massive and untamed wilderness of eclectic beauty that will bitchslap you upside the face if you don’t respect it. Just my type (wink-wink).

But, there’s another reason: something called ‘freedom to roam’. Laws vary by location and discussions on environmental impact is important but it is, I feel, the way adventure travel should be.

Every human has the right to disappear into nature and just be. Just be without electricity, and goddamn Wi-Fi, and the white noise of the world. And to just be without some dickhead ranger showing up, slapping you with a $200 fine, and then telling you to move your tent along because “the government owns this land”. Australia and New Zealand are particularly egregious for this.

 

Scandinavia is one of the best places to adventure travel and escape alone

Brb, gone roamin’.

 

So if you’re looking for the best places to escape alone, the Scandinavian/Nordic countries have got you covered. If you’re also looking for the best adventure holidays for couples, you should consider Scandinavia because everybody knows that disappearing into the wilderness for weeks at a time is better with someone that lets you touch their butt.

Where are you going? Wherever you damn well please, that’s my point. Take a compass – if you don’t feel like walking, saddle up a reindeer – and go disappear… safely. Light a campfire (legally) and watch the stars and the lights in the northern sky which no man owns no matter how much they wish they did.

 

Antarctica: The Final Boss of Your Adventure Travels

I said we were going to all seven continents, right? I also said it was going to get cold.

Yes, you can do adventure travel in Antarctica. Yes, it is more expensive than anything else on this list and no you can’t go unguided unless you break away from your tour group (NOT a good idea) but it’s Antarctica. This is about the most extreme adventure trip you can take until Elon Musk sorts out that whole space/moon tourism thing.

 

Antarctica rounds of 7 continents of best places for adventure travel

Some Antarctic gypsies chilling out.

 

Most Antarctica tours involve a cruise and will take you too and around parts of the continent – usually the Antarctic peninsula which is pretty damn close to Argentina hence the ‘land at the end of the world’ thing. Some of them will also take you to the Falkland Islands which are super damn pretty.

You can expect a lot of wildlife watching but many tours offer some adventure activities alongside such as kayaking, scuba diving, and paddle-boarding. Notice how all those activities had some relation to the freezing-cold water…

Yep, that’s what to expect from Antarctica: desolation, magnificence, and feeling permanently cold all the time. Get used to it. 

 

Skydiving over Queenstown in a one week adventure trip in New Zealand

Done, motherduckers! | image source: DAVID HOLT (flickr)

 

What is Adventure Tourism?

Depending on where you look, you’ll find several definitions of adventure tourism. Of course, as we all know, stuffy definitions created by stuffy people don’t often encapsulate the whole truth at the ground level.

Travelling and adventure is nothing new to humans but, as with most things with market potential, commercialisation changes the landscape of play. In 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay were the first ever to summit Mount Everest. Now, just over 65 years later (less than the lifespan of a person) over 8000 people have summited the peak.

Now, there’s something to be said about the advantages and disadvantages of adventure tourism but it doesn’t help with our definition for the purpose of this article. Thus, I’ve decided on three criteria to define adventure travel by:

  1. There’s some level of an inherent risk involved i.e. injury or death is increased in likelihood by the activity.
  2. The activity revolves around interaction and interplay with nature and the outdoors.
  3. There is a market, sub-culture, and level of commercial gain behind the activity.

 

Rock climbing has taken off internationally as an adventure tourism activity

Something like this. | image source: Stefanos Nikologianis (Flickr)

 

The adventure activity can be guided or unguided, paid for or free, and range anywhere from death is a slim possibility to ‘Dude, who gets your PlayStation when you die?’ but, generally speaking, your best places for adventure travel are going to be marketed as primo adventure tourism holiday destinations. With that comes all the perks and caveats of a place well-worn by tourists.

I’d also like to define the difference between adventure travel and a journey. Hitchhiking across China, walking through the Middle-East, or backpacking around Africa are all great journeys (and some of my ultimate bucket list ideas), but they’re not adventure travel holidays since they’re not primarily driven by the purpose of tourism. That’s a personal journey, mate!

 

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Types of Adventure Tourism: Hard Adventure Activities

Ok, so seriously, if you want to discuss types of adventure travel, there are lots of ways to break it down and a lot of different sub-categories. That’s the point of my criteria above and my separation of a ‘journey’ and ‘adventure travel’

One of my favourite types of journeying (which many would rightfully consider a travel adventure) is overland travel (i.e. no planes). However, telling you to start in Japan, finish in Italy and you’re not allowed to use planes wouldn’t make for a very appealing article. It does, however, make for a seriously dope journey!

 

Suprise bear on hiking trip for a single man

Bears. Anything with bears immediately qualifies for an adventure activity. | image source: Jim Peaco (NPS)

 

So, the first category of adventure tourism activity types that we’re going to talk about is the ‘hard’ type. Generally, the activities defining this category pose a sizeable risk… of death. When you’re partaking in these adventure travel ideas, generally it’s better to know what you’re doing to avoid that whole ‘dying young’ thing:

  • Mountaineering
  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Caving
  • Skydiving
  • Wingsuiting
  • Base Jumping
  • Bear Fighting

For the record, I made that last one up… I hope…

 

Types of Adventure Tourism: Soft Adventure Activities

These examples of adventure tourism tend to be less hazardous and generally less dangerous than fighting a bear on an ice mountain while wearing a wingsuit. They have lower overall death-related statistics and your mum isn’t going to complain as much when you tell her what you’ve been up to.

 

Fishing is both a safer and cheap adventure holiday

For a gentler travel adventure holiday.

 

It’s worthy to note that most of these activities’ risks can be mitigated by having a professional guide or partaking in some sort of adventure holiday tour. Conversely, the risks can be heightened (i.e. made more fun) by pushing the limits of the activity, often upgrading it to a hard adventure activity. Try rafting some grade VI rapids and you’ll see what I mean:

  • Trekking/hiking/orienteering
  • Camping
  • Kayaking/rafting/canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Safaris/wildlife watching
  • Bungee jumping
  • Skiing/snowboard
  • Surfing
  • Diving/snorkelling
  • Mountain biking
  • Zorbing

That last one is my favourite.

Obviously, this far from a complete list but it does give you an idea for what you’re in for when visiting some of the best places in the world for adventure travel… that being a whole lotta fun!

 

Why Visit the Best Places for Adventure Travel?

Well, I feel I sorta already addressed that with the whole ‘combatting the existential abyss inside your soul’ thing but, yeah, there are other reasons too.

It’s about the challenge. Sure, the advent of the adventure tourism industry mitigates the challenge somewhat (see the above example of Mount Everest) but it’s still an adventure – it’s in the name, after all!

And it’s your adventure! Take it as far and as dangerous as you like. You do you.

It’s about growth: growth through hardship. Learning to take things in stride. Learning that things, most of the time, will be ok. You just have to keep moving.

 

A man getting dirty on an extreme adventure trip

ARRGGHH, ADVENTURE! | image source: hor US Air Force (Wikimedia Commons)

 

It’s about getting dirty. Because, everybody knows, being covered in dirt, and mud, and scratches, and leeches (ok, not leeches) makes for a better quality of life.

And, it’s about contentment. It’s about, one day, when you’re eighty-years-old and nestled in your rocking chair reminiscing on the life you’ve lived, you can say: “Yeah, that was pretty good. I’d say, overall, I did a good job – 7 out of 10… oh, maybe a 7.5.”

It’s about connecting to life and our planet, which, in case you hadn’t heard, is pretty bloody gorgeous.

So, now that I’ve unquestioningly convinced you to embark on your extreme (or semi-extreme) adventure trip, let’s talk about the best places for an adventure travel holiday!

 

A man on an adventure travel holiday in Asia

I feel an adventure coming on… | image source: Pranjal kukreja (Wikimedia Commons)

 

A Few Final Points to Touch on Before Hitting Up the Best Places for Adventure Travel Holidays in the World

Right, so that’s the whole list: 12 of the best places for adventure travel across the seven continents of our world. And some damn fine choices too, if I do say so myself!

So, before you inevitably go and tear it up snowboarding, rafting, or bear fighting, I’d like to touch on a few more things to note. A few practical considerations of the environment, taking care of yourself, and just generally not being a knob-jockey while you’re engaging in your Evel Knievel ways.

 

A moment before we round up the best places for adventure travel

Hold it, park it for two secs!

 

Yes, I know it’s boring, but bear with me. We’re travellers and that means we pay attention to this stuff.

A couple on an adventure holiday

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Adventure Tourism and of Not Being a Butthead

This topic is really deserving of (and has many) socio-ecological research papers, but it goes without saying that adventure tourism has an impact. Think about Pokhara in Nepal: what was once considered one of the most mystical places in Nepal is now a bustling city that is known as its ‘tourism capital’. Once you hit its tourist hub, you can find any substance your heart desires, vegan cafes selling yogic wisdom at $5 a pop, and clubs pumping out psytrance until three in the morning.

But, again, think about Pokhara: a city that was once only accessible by foot is now one of the most affluent cities in Nepal. It’s a huge metropolis that garners a large amount of revenue for a developing nation and supplies jobs and a better quality of life for many people.

 

Pokhara is an example of the effects of adventure tourism in Nepal

Pokhara: a convergence of worlds.

 

Tourism is a double-edged sword and adventure tourism only takes a whetstone to the blade. As per my original definition, it usually entails some form of interaction with the natural environment and, as you may have noticed, it also usually involves some form of interaction with cultures unaccustomed to the West. Which means they are unaccustomed to – let’s say – the ugly side of Western tourism.

So be a good dude; it’s just that simple. Nothing grandiose – just stay aware, be responsible, and be respectful. Be respectful of other cultures and the people there; their sole purpose in life is not to make sure our one-week-itinerary travel adventure trips blows up on the socials. 

And be respectful of our environment. It was here long before we were carving it up with snowboards and mountain bikes and it’ll be here long after it’s wiped us all out for carving it up with snowboards and mountain bikes.

Past that, you do you. You know how to be a good human. And if you’re travelling and not being a good human… it’s only a matter of time until someone – local, traveller, or Mama Nature herself – sorts you out.

 

Staying Safe – Get Insured Before You Visit the Best Places for Adventure Travel Holidays

Also, you need damn travel insurance! If you’re going to be a thrill-seeking adventure traveller, you need insurance. Evel Knievel didn’t and look how that ended up for him! Oh, he died at the age of 69 from natural causes… that ruins that joke.

Still, get insurance!

Shoutout from Will – The OG Broke Backpacker: Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do get insurance – take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you need it.

Yeah, and on that note, it’s still a matter of respect. Let’s say you know you’re going off to fight bears. Well, you know the inherent risk of fighting bears! You may very well end up getting injured fighting bears!

 

The best places for adventure travel have bears

“Hey, guys. Do you have a second to talk about travel insurance?”

 

And then, when you’re lying in a hospital bed in a foreign country bruised, battered, and eviscerated without insurance, who do you think is gonna pick up the tab? I’ll tell you who: it’ll be your family, or your friends, or local mafia loan sharks.

So, yeah, get insurance. And there’s only one crew in the travel insurance game that will cover you for all the crazy shit you want to do. And that’s World Nomads.

Although I will say, they won’t cover for bear fighting… on mountains over a certain height above sea level.

 

Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

 

It’s Time to Go to the Best Places for Adventure Travel Holidays

That’s it. The whole list. If you do one of these ultimate bucket list ideas, well done. If you do all 12… geez, dude, legend; you’re a braver human than me (I have no intention of going to Antarctica… yet).

So, what are my final thoughts on the 12 best adventure holidays in the world? Honestly, I think I’ve touched on all of it already.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re after a cheap adventure holiday, an extreme vacation (a bit of an oxymoron), or a journey away from where all tours can take you. Just remember, that it’s the adventure that connects us to travel and to life.

Just remember that adventure is awesome. And that it keeps us alive. And that it is these stories that you’ll be telling your grandkids one day. So make them grand and beautiful and dangerous and filled with plot-twists.

Tell a good story.

 

A little guy off on his own adventure travel journey

A little guy on a big journey.

 

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