The World’s Most Adventure-Filled Destinations - Full-Time Travel

The World’s Most Adventure-Filled Destinations

The World’s Most Adventure-Filled Destinations

By Esme Benjamin

While it’s true that we have the power to create our own adventures wherever we are in the world, there are some countries that have a more adventure-centric culture, whether it’s thanks to the natural landscape or through conscious cultivation. If you’re dreaming of a trip that will give you the opportunity to try something new and create lasting memories in the process, our list of the world’s most adventure-filled destinations is a great place to start. 

New Zealand 

By Casey Horner

A long-time favorite of adrenaline junkie backpackers, New Zealand (and Queenstown in particular) offers visitors plenty of opportunities to hurl themselves off of bridges or out of planes. But even if skydiving and bungee jumping are not your jam, this island nation’s relatively small landmass boasts an incredible variety of landscapes – all of it ripe for adventuring. Go glacier hiking on Franz Josef Glacier, trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and explore glowworm-lit Waitomo Caves. And if you find yourself in the North Island town of Rotorua, which is known for its thermal attractions, don’t miss the opportunity to Zorb – i.e. zoom down a grassy hill inside a giant inflatable ball filled with water. It’s one minute of pure joy.    


By Robin Canfield

There are many great places around the world to scuba dive, but Belize’s Blue Hole - a huge circular marine sinkhole at the center of the Lighthouse reef – is special. Measuring 984 ft. across and 410 ft. deep, the Blue Hole is the largest geological feature of its kind and a bucket list destination for divers, who flock there for marine life sightings (including various species of shark) and unique underwater stalactites. Back on dry land, Belize has lots more to discover, from Maya temples and remote cayes to Billy Barquedier National Park and the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves. 

Costa Rica

By Alex Ip

In Costa Rica you can spend half your trip relaxing at a luxurious eco-minded hotel and the other half experiencing the best of the country’s unique flora and fauna. Zipline through the cloud forest, take a wildlife spotting tour in a national park (25% of Costa Rica is protected land), learn to surf with the locals, try stand-up paddle boarding in the shadow of Arenal volcano or soak in a mountainside hot spring. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure kind of place. 


By Panuson Norkaew

Perhaps unsurprisingly, for a country renowned for its dazzling beaches and islands, Thailand is full of coastal adventures. Try kayaking through sea caves at Phang Nga Bay, rock climbing on Railay Beach in Krabi, or snorkeling/scuba diving over coral reefs on the beautiful east coast island of Koh Tao. Up in Thailand’s northern provinces visitors can spend a night with a hilltribe, learning about their culture, become an elephant caregiver for a day (bathing them in the river is an amazing experience), and stand in awe at Chiang Mai‘s gleaming Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. 

South Africa 

By redcharlie

Many adventurous travelers come to South Africa for a safari (what’s more thrilling than spotting the Big Five game animals in the wild?), and that’s only the beginning of what this country has to offer. Up the ante by cage diving with great white sharks, hiking up table mountain and abseiling back down or leaping off the highest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world. If that all sounds a bit too intense for you, snorkeling with seahorses or hiking and camping along the beautiful Otter Trail will satiate your hunger for adventures without spiking your adrenaline.


By Jacky Huang

Vast and beautiful, Canada is a dream for intrepid types eager to get away from the crowds and into nature. In the warmer months visitors can kayak with orcas around the San Juan Islands and hike to the turquoise lakes of Banff. Although Canadian winter has a reputation for being unbearably cold, tons of once-in-a-lifetime experiences await for those willing to wrap up warm and venture into the wilderness, from ice climbing and dog sledding in the Rockies to witnessing the Northern Lights at Yellowknife.  


By Jeremy Bishop

In recent years Iceland has arisen as one of the world’s most popular adventure travel destinations, and for good reason. With its approachable size, great tourism infrastructure and huge variety of otherworldly landscapes – from giant waterfalls to volcanic black-sand beaches – Iceland is perfect for those who are dipping a toe into adventure travel. But that’s not to say the country lacks under-the-radar experiences; navigate your way to the eerie wreckage of a 1970s plane crash, snorkel through the crystal clear ​​Silfra Fissure or try snowmobiling across a remote glacier.

Galapagos Islands 

By Simon Berger

If you’re hooked on David Attenborough nature documentaries, chances are the Galápagos Islands are on your travel wishlist. Situated roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago is protected by strict conservation laws, creating an unblemished haven for wildlife including endemic species found nowhere else on the planet. Adventures to the Galápagos are of course centered around these species, and a trip there will entail encounters with Galápagos fur seals, flightless cormorant and the giant tortoise, to name just a few.

Read Next: A Travel Expert’s Tips For Visiting The Galápagos Islands


By Ashim D Silva

Images of the otherworldly Dead Valley – a desert landscape of tree skeletons and towering orange sand dunes – has put Namibia firmly on many traveler’s bucket lists in recent years, but the country’s appeal goes beyond just aesthetic beauty. Go wildlife spotting at Etosha National Park, visit the national seal reserve on the Skeleton Coast, see the perfectly preserved petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein UNESCO World Heritage Site or join a motorcycle tour and get a taste of Namibia’s cultural and geographical highlights.

"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen