By Amanda Little
Discover the wild side of the world as you adventure through land, air, and sea! Get a new perspective on the world by zip lining, whitewater rafting, and hiking. These vacation ideas will get your heart pumping!
Spice up any vacation by strapping in and flying high over the beauty many places have to offer. From briney coves and fantastic forests to icy creeks and glaciers, a zip line gives any landscape a new perspective.
Fly at top speeds on a zip line through the incredible biodiveristy of the lush Arenal foothills and volcano in Costa Rica. Spot animals, zip through wisps of cloudforest, and learn about the stunning life thriving in Costa Rica.
Waiheke Island • New Zealand
Pair up with a friend to explore the zip lines crisscrossing Waiheke Island in New Zealand. See remote areas that would be impossible to visit otherwise, learn about the natural areas, and see other attractions worth visiting, like vineyards and the Hauraki Gulf.
Orocovis • Puerto Rico
Nicknamed El Monstruo, or “The Monster,” this epic mile-and-a-half long zip line in Puerto Rico claims to be the longest zip line in the world, with top speeds of 65 mph. Take it on head first and fly Superman-style over the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park.
Labadee • Haiti
Zip line 500 feet above both land and sea as you take on Haiti’s Dragon’s Breath flight line. Take on over 2,600 feet of line as you admire beautiful views of the cove below and mountains on the horizon.
Jaguar Cave • Belize
Make your way through an ancient ceremonial space before flying out over the lush canopy of Belize. Zip through the mouth of a cave lined with stalactites before touching down on the forest floor, where other activities like spelunking and tubing are available.
One week out of the year when the weather is nice and tourism is booming, those visiting the Eiffel Tower will actually be able to zip line from the monument, hitting speeds of 55 mph! The best part? This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is completely free of charge.
Icy Strait Point • Alaska
Known for mountain views, glaciers, and the occasional fauna, the best way to see some of Alaska’s most stunning sights is by zip line! From solo rides to up to six passengers at a time, visitors can zip down 1,300 feet near the tiny town of Hoonah.
Whistler • British Columbia, Canada
This wonderous zip line is one of the few that is open year round, and takes patrons over snow-covered forest and icy creeks, or old growth still thriving among happily babbling brooks. With five lines to choose from, you could take the longest line at 1,000 feet, or hop on the freestyle line that lets you hang upside down!
Changing up the usual long ride, the Flight of the Gibbon in Thailand offers several lines with lofty treetop platforms in between each line. Along its exhilarating ride, you’ll see the beautiful natural landscape and find other opportunities like mountain biking, rock climbing, and river rafting. Plus, 10% of all expenses go towards protecting the gibbon and it habitat, which you get to learn about on your zip line!
Another line that is vying for the title of the longest zipline is the Zip 2000 in South Africa. Fly over African grassland on its 6,500 foot ride with top speeds of 93 mph - it’s also trying to claim the fastest zip line ride in the world!
White Water Rafting
Pack your waterwings, you’re going for a ride through some of the best rapids in the world! Ranging from tropical river to roaring glacial runs, take a ride on the wild side with either speeding rivers or fun-filled adventure.
Winding 67 miles through three sections of tropical rainforest, the Pacuare River in Costa Rica is a feast for the senses. On the river, experience lush flora, exhilarating rapids, and beautiful fauna like jaguars and ocelots!
Colorado River through the Grand Canyon • Arizona
The Grand Canyon is known for its magnitude, so it only makes sense the river running through it maintains the same reputation. Big waves, better views, and a battle against it all, whitewater rafting down this 226-mile long river is an adventure!
Take your standard whitewater rafting experience and crank it up to 10 by adding ferocious waters, crocodiles, and even hippos! The rapids of Zambezi River extend 15 miles and challenge you along every bend, set against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Falls.
Enjoy commanding the center of attention when telling stories about the “Fu.” With spectacular scenery that could be in a movie, stretches of whitewater ready for beginners and experts, and jaw-dropping cascades fed by lake in the Andes, these rapids seem to have it all.
Sun Kosi River • Nepal
Start your journey along the rapids in Nepal at one of the highest peaks in the world. Ride the Sun Kosi River along the border of Tibet, where the Himalayas rest on the horizon and the Ganges awaits on plains below. Take the rapids through a stretch of jungle littered with monkeys for a unique experience.
Middle Fork of the Salmon River • Idaho
Race by enchanting alpine forests in the dense wilderness that surrounds Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. From magnificent rapids to the chance of seeing bears swimming and fishing in the water, those flying along these waters at breakneck speeds are sure to experience a rush of adrenaline and love for nature.
Isek and Tatshenshini Rivers • Alaska/Canada
Brace yourself before taking on Isek and Tatshenshini! Ripping through icy tundras, along glaciers and icebergs, among mountains, and through woods, the rapids moving through Alaska and Canada are unforgettable. Spot moose and grizzlies as you race the salmon through the water!
North Johnstone River • Australia
Battle your way along the waters winding around the bases of volcanoes and through ancient rainforests. Enjoy the North Johnstone River of Palmerston National Park in Australia, where luminous fungi glow in the darkness, fireflies flit through the canopies, and rapids run by gorges and untouched rainforest.
Coruh River • Turkey
Hang on for a wild ride along Coruh River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in the world. Cut through stunning gorges, fly by the dramatic Kackar Mountains, and spot wildlife as you race through the wilderness of Turkey. From mountain goats and wild boar to ruins and castles, there is so much to see if you’re quick enough to spot it!
Tumble along with the Noce through the remote Sun Valley in Italy. Fed by melting Alpine glaciers and offering some of the best whitewater rafting in Europe, those willing to brave the rapids will be able to see stunning sights like the gorges of Mostizzolo.
Pack your gear and leave the comforts of civility behind you as you trek through some of the most amazing trails in the world. While many of these hikes take days or months to complete, most of them can be enjoyed in small parts.
This 26-mile hike through Peru takes about four days to complete, and is one of the most popular trails in the world. With intense inclines and declines, travelers will get to see ancient Inca ruins plus stunning mountain and rainforest scenery. The best reward is arriving at Machu Picchu at the end. The best time to hike this trail is from May to September.
The peculiar “W” shape gives the Torres del Pain “W” Circuit in Chile its name! Ranging from 37-50 miles and averaging 4-6 days to complete, this hike will bring you through the heights of volcanic peaks, the majesty of glaciers, and along stunning crystalline lakes. There is also an “O” circuit trek, and is the most popular from October to April.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a well-known mountain, and is now a widely popular trek. While the distance only spans 35 miles, it can easily take a week or longer to scale all 19,340 feet. A wide range of climbing routes and guided tours make this climb a little more accessible, with the best times to go ranging from January to February, or around September.
Everest Base Camp Trek • Nepal
No list of worldwide hikes would be complete without some mention of Everest. With unbeatable scenery, coming face-to-face with the highest point on Earth, and now with easier access from helicopters and lodges, a trip to Everest is a must on any adventurer's list. The best time to go is between March and May or September to November - before and after monsoon season.
Rumored to be the most difficult trek in the world because of the unpredictable Himalayan weather, the Snowman Trek in Bhutan expands over 200 miles, and can take almost a month to complete. This trail is by guided tour only, covering 11 passes at 16,000 feet. The best time to go is from April to October.
Pacific Crest Trail • USA
Walking through three states along the entire west coast of the United States is no easy feat, and yet many embark on the 2,650 mile-long trek. Averaging 6-7 months, travelers can find everything from spectacular state parks and natural forests to the expanse of Mojave Desert. The best time of year to go is from April to October.
Tour du Mont Blanc • Europe
Not many trails give hikers the ability to explore three different countries, but the highly sought after Tour du Mont Blanc trail spans 105 miles through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Taking about 10 days, trekkers can explore mountain peaks, glaciers, charming meadows teeming with brightly colored blossoms and more. Go during the summer when huts and lodges along the path are open for business.
Clamber over lichen-covered rocks, rhyolite peaks, and volcanic landscapes on the Laugavegurinn/Fimmvofhuhals Pass in Iceland. Spanning 50 miles and taking four days to complete, travelers begin or end their trek at the stunning Skogafoss Waterfall. The best time to go is from June to September, when there is extra daylight and flora blooming to life.
The Long Range Traverse • Newfoundland
Wander over untouched land in Gros Morne National Park and take in the hidden lakes, pristine tundra, and wildlife surrounding shared campsites. This 25-mile trek reveals moose, black bears, and caribous, and can take anywhere from 3-6 days to complete. You’ll want to go in the summer if you want to easily scale the 2,644-foot granite dome that is Gros Morne Mountain.
No matter what time of year you’re visiting the U.K., be sure to pack your umbrella, especially on a hike. Explore the Scottish National Tail, opened in 2012, and traverse all 470 miles exploring the scenery of Scotland. The journey can take 5-6 weeks and becomes more difficult as you go, but like any hike, it can be rnjoyed in parts.