Adventures to Have in a Lifetime
Every traveler has their ultimate list of experiences. Those experiences can include everything from eating street food in Singapore to seeing an opera in Vienna, but we’re fans of beefing up your list with outdoor adventures. With this in mind, we at Traveler put together a list of the ultimate trips for intrepid travelers, including a mix of epic hikes, extreme sports, and creative ways to see some of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes. Whether it’s hot air ballooning over Turkey or swimming with dolphins in the Atlantic, these 30 activities are guaranteed to thrill—and change your entire outlook on life.
Climb to Machu Picchu, Peru
No travel bucket list is complete without Macchu Picchu, an Incan citadel located in the Andes. While the site can be accessed via bus ride, more adventurous travelers can take the five-day trek along the entire 26-mile-long Inca Trail. Or, thanks to local tour operator Sam Travel Peru, you can get dropped at kilometer marker 104 and do the whole experience in 24 hours.
Hunt for glaciers in Greenland
Greenland is relatively expensive and tricky to get to, but well-worth the effort—especially since it’s one of the most untouched landscapes on the planet. Exhibit A: the hundred-year-old icebergs and glaciers floating off the mainland, which you can get up close and personal with during a cruise excursion.
Hot air balloon over Cappadocia, Turkey
A hot air balloon ride over central Turkey’s Cappadocia region provides 360-degree views of the famous limestone spires and “fairy chimneys”—something you can’t get at the ground level. We recommend booking with Kapadokya Balloons.
Swim the Great Barrier Reef
Divers and snorkelers everywhere need to move the Great Barrier Reef to the very top of their bucket lists. Not only does the site have more than 400 different types of coral and 1,500 species of fish, but the natural wonder has been rapidly eroding, thanks to coral bleaching and global warming. In other words? Visit this one while you can.
Climb Mount Everest
Mount Everest looms large, known around the world by hikers and non-hikers alike. But this is one behemoth that is best left to truly experienced travelers. According to alpinist Adrian Ballinger, who attempted the climb in 2016, “You need to climb at least three 20,000 peaks, one 23,000 peak, and one 26,000 peak before considering Everest.” But hey, if you’re one of the lucky few who has the experience, time, and funds needed to reach Everest’s summit, then by all means, do it.
Dogsled in Siberia
Siberia in the winter may not sound like the most relaxing of vacations, but the appeal increases exponentially when you add in husky dogs, who can take you on sled rides around across frozen Lake Baikal and endless white masses of land. Sure you can always take a Trans-Siberian train ride, but that’s simply not as adorable.
Trek the Great Wall of China
Everyone knows and loves the Great Wall of China, as witnessed by the masses of selfie-taking tourists swarming the landmark each day. Different sections of the wall offer different experiences, whether you’re looking for a strenuous hike or an uncrowded place to take photographs. The Great Wall Adventure Club offers excursions up to 12 days long, giving you the chance to walk around 50 miles and camp overnight in the structure’s watchtowers. For a different type of once-in-a-lifetime experience, take a day trip with Opposite House Beijing, a hotel that offers guided tours specifically of the Wall’s uncrowded stretches. Walking from tower to tower with no one else around you? Sign us up.