Looking for an adventure to really get your heart pumping?
Here are six destinations that are guaranteed to thrill all of you adrenaline junkies out there.
Mount Everest, Nepal/Tibet
Just about everyone has heard of Mount Everest. After all, sitting at over 29,000 feet, it’s the highest peak in the world!
While only highly experienced climbers should even consider attempting to scale the peak, there are numerous other treks around the mountain that will still provide a truly awe-inspiring experience.
The mountain itself sits at the border of Nepal and China, with its south slope belonging to Nepal and its north slope belonging to China. There are three other record-breaking peaks situated around Everest, along with 14 other peaks that all reach to at least 7,000 meters. These all make up the incredible Mount Everest Natural Scenery Area.
The best place to begin your adventure is at the Everest Base Camp. The location of the base camp recently changed in January 2019, being moved about 4km north to protect the area’s delicate ecosystem. The old base camp is now a part of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, which belongs to China.
There are several charming mountain towns located a short distance away from Everest, many of which offer short hikes that last just a few days.
Of course, hiking isn’t your only option – Everest is packed with numerous other adventurous activities too, such as:
- Water rafting
- Yak safaris
- Mountain biking
- Sky diving
One thing to keep in mind when planning your trip…
Several permits are needed to visit the area, not just for the Everest Base Camp but also for Tibet itself. Make sure that you begin organizing all of your paperwork a good few months in advance, as you do not want to experience any problems once you actually get there.
Cape Town, South Africa
The bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis of Cape Town attracts more than two and a half million visitors each year. The capital of South Africa, Cape Town boasts a captivating history and culture, as well as stunning scenery.
While many tend to spend the majority of their visit indulging in city-based activities, Cape Town has so much more to offer when you venture a little further afield…
For starters, Cape Town is home to the largest population of great white sharks in the world. If these majestic creatures don’t get your heart racing, there isn’t much else that will!
Want to see the sharks up close?
Try cage-diving, a hugely popular activity in the city. You will enter into a cage, which will then be lowered into the sea, with the cage being your only form of protection from the great whites. A form of bait is often used to attract the sharks, ensuring that these beauties are spotted during each and every expedition.
Surfing is another popular activity in Cape Town. This may not seem very exciting or unusual at first, but, considering the fact that you will be riding waves with great white sharks around you, the experience suddenly becomes all the more thrilling.
Of course, Table Mountain needs a mention too…
This flat-topped mountain is one of Cape Town’s most iconic landmarks, looming up over the city. There is a cable car to take you to the top, and several hiking trails to enjoy too, but, if you really want to get your blood pumping, give abseiling a try. You don’t need any experience for this, but you will definitely need to be courageous in order to step off the side of a sheer cliff, with the sparkling ocean beneath you.
Queenstown, New Zealand
With Queenstown being known as the adventure capital of the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are numerous adrenaline-fuelling activities that can be enjoyed here.
Just the thought of some of these will be enough to get your heart racing, with these activities designated only for the very brave:
- Paragliding – launch off from the Skyline Gondola and sail through the sky, enjoying panoramic views of Lake Wakaptipu, along with the rest of Queenstown
- Canyoning – there are a few locations in Queenstown where you can give canyoning a try, an adventure that will see you doing everything from ziplining over ravines to sliding down waterfalls
- Skydiving – Queenstown is home to some of the best skydiving facilities in the world, making this the place to give the sport a try. Heights vary from 9,000 feet to 15,000 feet, depending on how courageous you are feeling
- Canyon Swinging – this unusual activity will have you jumping off a cliff that looms over 100 meters high, before free-falling down, past a cliff face, until you are just above a river, after which you will then swing across a canyon
- River Surfing – if you love to surf in the ocean, give river surfing a try. The Kawarau River is the best place for this, with whirl pools, rock jumps and fast rapids to contend with
- Whitewater Rafting – again, the Kawarau River, with its immense rapids, is a prime spot for whitewater rafting, as is the Shotover River. The rapids here are grades four and five, offering up a thrilling experience along with some fantastic views
- Flyboarding – this involves being strapped to a board before a hose emits a high pressure from a jetski that propels you high above the water. While you don’t need experience for this activity, you definitely do need to be a strong swimmer
Those are just a few of the adventures that you will be able to enjoy in Queenstown, making it easy to see why the city is so popular with those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime thrill.
While the tropical islands of Hawaii are often considered to be a prime spot for some rest and relaxation, there is plenty of adventure to be found here too.
Many flock to Maui simply for a visit to Pe’ahi, which can be found on the island’s north shore.
Wondering what makes Pe’ahi so special?
This is where you will find the biggest wave break in Hawaii, if not the world. In fact, the waves here are so impressive that they are nicknamed Jaws, with these waves often exceeding 60 feet in height. It should come as no surprise that this is where several of the big names in surfing come to ride the waves, especially between the months of December and March, when the waves are at their largest.
You are probably wondering how you would even paddle out to a wave so big…
The answer is – you don’t. Tow-in surfing is the way to do things here, in which a jet ski will tow you over to the break before dropping you off. While many surfers have begun paddling their way out to the waves in recent years, this is something that should not be attempted unless you are highly confident in your surfing skills.
Once you have tried your hand at surfing Jaws, the fun doesn’t need to end there…
The islands of Hawaii are home to numerous other adventure opportunities, such as:
- Hiking into the crater of the Haleakala Volcano
- Signing up for a Hawaiian lava boat tour, which will take you up-close to an erupting volcano
- Horse riding on Kohala Mountain
- Snorkelling with manta rays, or snorkelling inside the Molokini Crater
- Ziplining over the Kualoa Private Reserve
Of course, while you are island-hopping around Hawaii, don’t forget to stop off at the OROGOLD store at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. All of that adrenaline may be fun for you, but it can play havoc on your skin, which is why your skin would definitely appreciate one of our VIP facials, along with some expert skincare advice.
Located in western Nicaragua, Leon is famous for its historic architecture, incredible landscapes and fascinating culture. This is the second largest city in Nicaragua, and while there may be plenty of city-based attractions to occupy yourself with here, you will also encounter a few heart-pumping experiences.
The most unique would be the sport of volcano boarding. While there are a few destinations around the world that offer up this unique activity, it has become really popular in Leon, most notably at the Cerro Negro Volcano. Compared to the other volcanos in Central America, Cerro Negro is relatively new, having popped up just 160 years ago, making it the youngest volcano in the region.
Wondering what volcano boarding actually involves?
All that is required is a handmade board, usually crafted from a few pieces of plywood. You either sit or stand on your board (depending on how brave you are feeling), and then go shooting down the black sand of the 2,400 foot active volcano. The way in which the sand is packed in pretty loosely is what makes Cerro Negro so perfect for this sport, with participants reaching speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.
If you are still needing another dose of adrenaline after that, there are a few other activities that you can indulge in here too. Try swapping your volcano board for a surfboard before heading to Popoyo, a popular surfing location. There are two reefs here, with the inner one being slightly easier than the outer reef. If you want to attempt surfing the outer reef, you may need to arrange for a jet ski to tow you in.
Prefer volcanos to the ocean?
There are several hiking trails criss-crossing over Nicaragua’s volcanos, each one varying in difficulty level. They range from short one-day hikes to longer three-day hikes, each one guaranteeing some of the best views you will have ever experienced.
Located in north-west China, the province of Shaanxi is famous for being the starting point of the legendary Silk Road. This is an area that dates back thousands of years, and there are numerous monuments and landmarks dotted around Shaanxi that are testament to its intriguing past.
So, what makes Shaanxi so perfect for adrenaline junkies?
The fact that this region of China is home to the most dangerous hike in the world.
The trail, which is more like a plank of wood winding its way around a sheer cliff side, more than 2000 feet up in the air, can be found at Mount Huashan. The mountain plays a significant role in local customs and traditions, which is why you will find numerous temples, shrines and teahouses dotted around the landscape.
The hiking path itself dates back centuries. It was built by pilgrims and monks, with this building process taking around 3000 years to complete.
The path stretches out for 12km, climbing around 1,800 meters along the way. When you first set off, the hike may not seem that treacherous, but, once you begin climbing the steep staircases that have been cut into the cliff face, you will soon see why this hike is named the most dangerous in the world.
Many parts of the walk need to be traversed by climbing vertical ladders, also dug into the mountain. You will often have a couple of steel bars or some chains to use as support, but there is nothing below to catch you if you fall. It goes withotu saying that quite a few people have fallen to their deaths here, with locals estimating this figure to be around 100 people per year.
Don’t worry if you find that you lose your nerve once you actually check out this precarious path. There is a cable car that will take you from Huayin City up to the summit of Mount Huashan, meaning that you can still enjoy its spectacular views.
There are so many destinations around the world that offer up an adrenaline-filled experience, but these six are, without a doubt, among the best. Whether you want to ride the most dangerous waves in the world, or hike the most dangerous trail in the world, these locations will definitely not disappoint.