Every new year I make a goal to experience adventure and try to check an item off my bucket list. For many traveler’s adventure activities are bifurcated in various terminologies. Mine has always been overcoming a fear every year, in terms of activities. A good adventure activity will either make a good lifetime experience or a bad dream, but for a while if you haven’t chosen it well. Luckily, each adventure activity that I have indulged in, in the past, like climbing all the way to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or living with nomads on Lakshadweep Islands or riding an autorickshaw for 3000kms, I have gained enough confidence to venture into the next activity. A vision to do any activity every year will also prepare you for a target mentally and physically. So much so, that now I prefer to combine my trips with one such adventure activity to remind myself to overcome my fears.
Along with my bucket list of travel adventure activities around the world, I have 30 travel specialists here, talking about crazy, fun and experiential travel adventure activities. Maybe you can do one of these activities when you plan your next travel.
1. Swimming with Hector Dolphins in New Zealand by Rutavi Mehta
My Story: My adventure activity of 2017, was swimming with dolphins, in the cold ocean of New Zealand. It was a magical experience – the dolphin encounter. Where the water temperatures are as low as 10degree Celsius, for a person like me, who comes from a hot and a humid country like India, this was a mind-blowing experience. To see the dolphins in the wild is a different experience than seeing them in a dolphin show that happens in Dubai. These world’s smallest hector dolphins are fun and playful with the swimmers. They are super friendly and say hello to the swimmers (in their dolphin way). Sounds like an adventure activity you want to do? Go ahead to Akaroa, New Zealand and book your adventure swim with Black Cat Cruise. I did this activity with them and I must say they are the best eco-tourism company I have ever heard of. I am pretty happy with this fun & experiential activity for 2017.
My blog on a swim with dolphins is coming soon.
2. Trekking in Chiang Mai, Thailand recommended by Kym Tyson
Kevin and I have been avid hikers and campers since we met. When we decided to go on the road full time we knew that we would focus on hiking, biking and be outdoors as much as possible. While we were planning our Thailand trip, a trek was the first thing on our minds. For most people, a cross country motorcycle trip or boat cruise might sound more exciting, but for 3 days and 2 nights, we would be immersed in the wild, in their culture. The challenge of getting from point A to B was left to us. We were there for a month and we decided that Chiang Mai had the best treks to offer. One can hike to remote villages in the mountains of Thailand. Group sizes are usually a mix of people from all over the world. We had 6 Germans, 2 Tasmanians, 1 person from Hong Kong, Thai guides and two Americans. In between hiking one can go down the river, on a bamboo raft, to see the amazing landscapes. It is definitely a rich cultural experience like none other. However, I do implore you to experience it without riding elephants or having them do the work for you.
Read the full experience on their blog: 33andfree.live
3. Renting E-bikes in Bagan, Myanmar to explore the temples recommended by Hannah
Everyone should travel to Myanmar when one is in southeast Asia. When you put together your Myanmar itinerary, I would suggest 4 nights in Bagan. Bagan is the highlight of Myanmar, there are over 2,000 temples & pagodas! One of the best things to do and the best way to explore all the temples is by renting an e-bike. E-bikes cost about $6 a day and can easily fit two people if needed. With an e-bike, you’ll be able to explore temples that not even on your list. There is something magical about discovering temples that not listed on the map. Every morning my husband and I would get up super early and hit the roads on our e-bikes to head to the top of a temple for sunrise and then find another epic temple to catch the sunset. Myanmar should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Read the full experience on their blog: GettingStamped
4. Hike to Taal Volcano, Philippines – recommended by Ruben Arribas
Read the full experience on their blog: GaminTraveler
5. Jeep Desert Safari in Jaisalmer, India recommended by Sandy & Vijay
“Hold tight sir!”, was the staccato command from the driver of the 4X4 open jeep that we were seated in. As we wondered about the need for that cryptic order, the jeep moved forward with a lurch and picked up speed with a suddenness that had us hanging on to the rails. The Jeep sped away like a berserk camel, zig-zagging on the road till we reached the sand dunes. The jeep then seemed to acquire some crazy energy of its own, we seemed to be flying and then suddenly stopping only to dive almost vertically into the sands. We hung on to the rails. There were moments when our entire bodies cleaned off the ground. After a dizzying spin in the sand dunes, we stopped for a breather, but with the promises of more to come. This is a crazy and gut-wrenching activity we would recommend for its sheer excitement. The statutory warning is that the activity is not for pregnant ladies and the faint hearted.
Read the full experience on their blog: IamVoyager
6. Motorbiking around the hills of Sa Pa, Vietnam recommended by Elsie
Visiting Sa Pa, Vietnam is a must for anyone traveling in the region. Exploring it on the back of a 90cc motorized dirt bike is truly unforgettable. The train from Hanoi runs overnight and one can travel in comfort in ornate and air conditioned cabins, making sure to rise early to watch the sunrise through the mist and the hills. The town of Sa Pa is a hill station nestled in the mountains, where one can get a feeling of it being both distinctly Vietnamese and reminiscently Swiss at the same time. Mopeds can be rented from around town for a few dollars and maps can be acquired from local shops and travel agents. The roads are smooth and in great conditions, although passing farmers and their oxen make for dangerous roadblocks! After riding through winding roads and valleys, once you crest the first rice paddy make sure to slow down and enjoy the dazzling views of the bright green terraces. Adventure is around every corner; find waterfalls, local villages, and hidden temples. In the rainy season, the winding roads become treacherous and you may have to rescue your bike from a few muddy puddles! Exploring with just a map led us to hidden waterfalls, little tucked-away villages, and a few muddy dead ends! It’s an incredible way to experience this beautiful region.
Read the full experience on her blog Kootour
7. Sea kayaking in Split, Croatia recommended by Parampara
With crystal clear water, the calm of the Adriatic sea, and many Game of Thrones locations around Split automatically becomes the best spot to try sea kayaking. Unlike Dubrovnik, Split is less crowded and a lot more chilled. One can combine a sea kayaking experience with underwater snorkeling for a treat to some great aquatic sights. The complete activity is bound to rejuvenate you, but be prepped to drain your energies after kayaking for hours. Don’t plan anything major post that. Just chill by the beach or feel free to crash in bed.
Read the full experience on her blog: AwaraDiaries
If you are a lover of white sand beaches and wildlife I suggest you visit the island of Vava’u. Tonga is one of the only places in the world to swim with humpback whales whilst they migrate through the South Pacific. The Tongan archipelago, known as ‘the friendly islands’ has such a wonderful, unique and fascinating culture. I was lucky enough to spend time sailing around the many islands spotting humpback whales breaching and swimming alongside our boat. With two local guides, I swam within meters of the creatures, looking into their eyes, feeling their vibrations, and hearing their song. It was incredible to see the whales react to us and take an interest. This was a truly special experience and one not to be missed.
Read see her full experience on here
9. Climb through the streets of Positano, Italy recommended by Lucie
Want to live among the pages of Pinterest? Then you have to visit Positano.Located on the Amalfi coast, Positano must be the most photogenic and picturesque town I’ve ever visited. With terracotta and pink houses nestled into the cliff side complete with crumbling secco, boutique shops and cafes worthy of the streets of Milan lining the cobbled roads and wisteria draped hotels standing tall; everywhere you look it’s breathtaking. Whether you visit for a day or stay for a week you should take the time to explore the tiny streets, it may seem like a maze at first but you’ll soon be walking through the town as if you’re a local. And while you’re there, be sure to rent a boat and see the town from the sea. Plus, stop off for a taste of their famous Limoncello! Bellissima!
Read her full experience on her blog: BlonderBlog
10. Marble Mountain adventure in Vietnam recommended by Ashely
We Blissy Life folks are huge fans of exploring serendipity. While living in Hoi An, Vietnam, we heard of a magical place called Marble Mountain… and then we kinda stumbled upon it by accident. We found ourselves heading down a road lined with huge white marble statues. They were of all shapes and sizes: traditional seated Buddha, abstract shapes, regal George Washington, even fairy princesses. The entrance to Marble Mountain is unassuming, but as you enter and start following the meandering paths through lush trees, you’re welcomed with a daisy-chain of huge caves within the mountain. Many are lit with natural light and candles, with incense smoke hanging in the air — the effect is ethereal. The views of Da Nang and the ocean were gorgeous from the Buddha at the top of the mountain. After our unexpected hike, we were famished — the closest restaurants around were in 5-star resorts; so we ended our adventure enjoying a fabulous lunch at a beautiful hotel. You never know what will happen when you go somewhere new and explore. We certainly suggest checking out Marble Mountain. Perhaps even more so: we highly recommend that you follow your excitement and the call of a coincidence!
Read her full experience on her blog: BlissyLife
11. Whale Watching in Cape Cod, New England recommended by Sara
Cape Cod is a stretch of land and seashore off the southeast coast of mainland Massachusetts. It is a popular vacation destination that embodies iconic New England with charming cedar gray and brown clapboard homes decorating its shoreline. Whale watching is a popular activity during the summer months in the Cape. In fact, whale watching in Cape Cod is considered to be one of the Top Ten Whale Watching spots in the world by World Wildlife Fund. As the sun was rising and brightening up the underwater world, we began to hear the humpback whales squeal as if they were roosters welcoming the start of the morning. While I have never seen a whale while scuba diving, hearing these whales was a spellbinding, magical moment for me. I was awestruck and felt surrounded by the pure beauty of the humpback whales. The animals of the ocean have this gorgeous spirit energy that can positively be a life changing experience for any person. Humpback whales are known to migrate 16,000 miles a year.
Read her full experience on her blog: Embolden Adventures
12. Swim with Whale Sharks in Honduras recommended by Aaron
In Honduras, the Government does not allow you to dive with a tank with Whale Sharks, as this is believed to cause the animal distress. So when one is found, all of the boat captains in Utila will get on the radio and if a boat captain is nearby, the boat will head out to where the shark is found. The captain of the boat will drive around and then, when he believes he is in front of the whale shark, will tell everyone to dive in with their snorkeling gear on. The first time I did this, I was the first in the water – the bubbles cleared from diving in and there only meters away from me was this bloody 10m long fish swimming towards me! I had to quickly swim to the side to get out of its way – and soaked up the amazing experience. The best time to do this is February to April or October/November, but I saw three in a week in January!
Read his full experience on his blog: Mysweetadventures
13. Underwater Submarine Ride in Maldives recommended by Diya
I was in Maldives for my honeymoon 5 years ago and the place is literally heaven. I am more of a mountain person but my hubby loves the water. So when he decided that we were going for the submarine ride, I was scared. Once we were at the ocean and were transferred to the submarine I started getting more and more nervous. The thought of getting underwater was too frightening for me.
The ride took 40-45 minutes and in that, we traveled up and down the reef. We were at a depth of around 70m. Once we were down all my fear just disappeared. The whole view was so beautiful, we saw different colored fishes, interesting coral and reef formation, some very unique aquatic creatures & plants I had never seen or heard of. In short, the underwater world was just amazing. I am so glad that I took this ride. And I highly recommend it to anybody who is too scared to dive or snorkel. This experience is just like diving but without getting wet.
Check her travel experiences on D-WindowSeat
14. Zip lining in the jungle in Angkor Park, Cambodia recommended by Claudia
I love zip lining, and I do it whenever I have a chance. When I found out that there were some zip lines in the jungle in Angkor Park, right outside Siem Reap, in Cambodia, I knew I had to go. Besides, the company that organized it spent its profits in the conservation and reintegration of Gibbons, I knew I had to try it. So I spent a good half day going up trees, flying from tree to tree, crossing sky bridges and admiring the local flora and wildlife. And to top it off, I got to see several gibbons in their natural environment. It was a great experience. We learned a lot about the nature and environment of Cambodia. I’d recommend this as one of the things to do in Siem Reap for nature and adventure lovers.
Check her adventure experience on her blog: myadventuresacrosstheworld
15. Watching baby Olive Ridley Turtle swim in Velas, India recommended by Sonam
Olive Ridley Turtle population was on the verge of extinction in India until an NGO named Sahyadri Nisargmitra and the villagers committee came together to conserve the species by protecting their eggs. Every year thousand of turtles visit the shore of the Velas beach to lay their eggs to give rise to their new ones. It is during this time of the year (Feb) when the eggs hatch. They find their way to the sea & along with that one gets to experience this beautiful unforgettable journey & learn more about the olive ridley turtles. You must experience this as you will definitely have tears while seeing these baby turtles swimming across the water
Read her experience on the blog: MysticPages
16. Zip-lining in Jodhpur, India recommended by Joanna
When I visited India I had only one afternoon to spend in Jodhpur and a lot of activities to choose from. As the group I was traveling with was inclining to go zip-lining, I decided to go with them, even if I am afraid of heights. Zip-lining over a fort sounded like a great way to see a fort and a city from above.Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India and it is built on a hill, surrounded by imposing thick walls. You can see it from far away, standing above the city. We arrived quite late at the fort and we were the last group of the day for zip-lining. We were taken through a short training after which we climbed on top of a wall, for the first line (out of a total of 6). The longest line is 300 meters long and it goes over 2 lakes, landing on a fortified towerThe entire experience was full of adrenaline and excitement. The views are also extraordinary and I would recommend anyone to try this activity while in Jodhpur.
Read her experience on the blog: Theworldinmypocket
17. White water rafting in Goa, India recommended by Ketki
There is much more to Goa than just beaches and there is even more in Monsoon. When the rain gods show up in Goa and the rivers start swelling up, head over to Valpoi on the banks of Mhadei river in North Goa, approximately 50 km from Panjim. After a small training session by experts, spend an hour cascading through the river waters trying to catch a glimpse of wildlife along the border of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. River rafting is always about adrenaline and one must definitely experience if they haven’t done ever. Rapids and waves, give you that spark in your life which makes you want to try this adventure once more.
You can follow her adventures here: EcoKats
18. Road tripping across European Countries recommended by Kunjal
After my almost final Northern Lights dream to Finland came crashing down for 2017, I already had another crazy goal for 2017 which is to do a self-driven road trip in the Central European countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia) in October. I have already started planning it. I am a road trip lover and autumn is my favorite time in Europe, it’s a perfect combination of fewer tourists, beautiful nature and driving on some of the most scenic roads. Road trips are best as you can simply stop and admire the view as long as you want. I have been doing road trips across India but this will be first outside India. Till now, I have always travelled in public transport outside India so now it’s time to explore more 😉 The countries that have I chosen are a mix of culture and nature, although getting a rented self-driven car is a tedious and a risky task with numerous rules and regulations because of border crossing and language barriers but I and my crazy gang is all set for it !!! There is no gain without pain and all ready for the 20 days road trip and creating some amazing memories 😉
You can read more about her experience on the blog: UnpluggedMoments
19. Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls – Cebu, Philippines recommended by Jackson
Kawasan Falls is one of the great attractions in the Philippines. It is known as the Gatorade factory because of the vibrant blue water beneath the falls. The canyoneering begins in Alegria and you jump and trek your way down the river with guides until your final jump is from the 40-50 feet high waterfall. Along the way, you will experience a number of jumps from different heights. The current guides you through the canyon but in some parts, you will trek through the jungle alongside the water. The journey takes about 4 hours and is one of the most amazing experiences I have had in the Philippines.
You can follow his journey & experiences here: TheJourneyEra
20. Culinary hike in Austria recommended by Nancy
Coming summer or fall, plan to visit Austria’s westernmost province of Vorarlberg where flower-filled alpine meadows beckon hikers to wander well-marked trails through the mountainous landscape. In the Bregenzerwald Region, you can go on a culinary hike from one mountain hut to the next. Follow well-marked trails to a traditional alpine breakfast of homemade pastries, preserves, and aromatic Bregenzerwald Cheese. Continue further to another mountain for lunch, before concluding your day with a delicious dessert at the final stop. Culinary hikes are available for all levels. You would surely have to tangle taste buds after the end of the hike.
Read more about this recommended experience here.
21. Go Deep-Sea Snorkelling in the Maldives recommended by Chandrika
Maldives is known for its pristine white beaches, cobalt blue waters and picturesque surroundings. It is, in my books, the ultimate destination for a relaxing beach holiday. But Maldives has a lot more to offer than just that.
Underneath those cobalt blue waters, lies a magical world buzzing with marine life. Expect to bump into Baby Reef Sharks, Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, and a hundred other species right out of a NatGeo documentary! Imagine yourself swimming with those majestic beings, and letting all your worries fade away for a while. What a brilliant way it was to take my honeymoon experience a notch higher! If there’s one activity you wish to check off your bucket list in 2017, make it this and have no regrets.
Read more about this recommended experience here.
22. Kayaking through the caves of Phang Nga Bay, Thailand…in the rain recommended by Kristen
While in Phuket, Thailand last year, my husband and I got the chance to kayak through the gorgeous caves of Phang Nga Bay! It’s an experience I highly recommend! We kayaked through caves, rowing out of the darkness to views of gorgeous cliffs and rock formations. We explored beautiful clearings with Tropical Mangrove trees. We jumped off the boat and swam into caves to escape the rain. We also saw the famous James Bond Island (featured in 2 James Bond movies) and had an authentic Thai lunch in a fishing village on Koh Yao Noi. Despite the rain (it rained ALL day!), it ended up being one of my favorite days in Thailand. We LOVED it! There are several tour companies that you can book a day trip through – we used Sea Simba and they were great. It was a fascinating and unique experience to see a gorgeous area that not many tourists visit, and in the end, the rain made for even better adventure!
You can follow their adventure here.
23. Mongo Rally, UK to Mongolia recommended by Alice
Looking to do something really crazy? Stupidly risky? The Mongol Rally is for you. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to drive from the UK to Mongolia in a rubbish car with no set route, no backup support and a car boot full of beer, instant noodles and the odd watermelon you’re bound to pick up in Kazakhstan from a local. I did it with an all-girl team and we managed to make it to the finish line in one piece within 2 months. By far the most insane road trip I’ve ever done.
You can follow her crazy adventure here.
24. Attend a music festival in a new location recommended by Sonal
My husband San and I are music festival junkies and travel around the world based on which music festival we want to attend and where. In fact, this is how we met each other many years back when we were dancing in a PsyTrance music festival in Thailand! Last year, we attended seven music festivals in all different countries and got to explore new places before and after the festivals. This year, we traveled around Sri Lanka for one month and attended a music festival there. If you like trying new things while traveling, I highly recommend you attend a music festival.
You can follow her never-ending travels here.