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Top 10 Best Destinations for Adventure-Seeking Travelers

Sure, Rome and Paris are great places to travel to – there’s wonderful architecture to be seen, fascinating historical sites to visit, and famed art pieces to ogle over. But, have you ever thought about going to Croatia and having a real adventure instead?

Think about it – for the same price (or maybe even less) that it would cost you to stand in sweaty lines for four hours, you could be zip-lining in the depths of the Ecuadorian rainforest or climbing a mist-shrouded mountain in Chile instead. It all depends on what you truly want to get out of your next travel experience.

For the thrill-seeking travelers among us who want to get off the beaten path, there are several options to consider. Here are the top 10 best travel adventure spots to visit if you want to have a truly unforgettable experience:

  1. Madagascar. This island paradise off the coast of Africa has a little something for everyone, especially if it’s divine natural beauty that you want to experience. Madagascar is chock-full of gorgeous rainforests, beaches, mountains, and some pretty amazing wildlife that you really can’t see anywhere else. The island is home to lemurs, huge hissing cockroaches, exotic birds, and is also considered to be one of the best whale-watching spots in the world.
  2. Brazil. Two words: The. Amazon. This awe-inspiring region is one of the most beautiful in the world – getting a jungle tour in Brazil is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. Take a canoe trip down the “wedding of the waters” (where the Rio Negro empties into the Amazon) and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot wild pink dolphins. In addition, Pantanal Matogrossense National Park is known for being one of the best wildlife-watching spots on the planet – be patient, and you’ll be able to see capybaras (the largest rodent in the world), jaguars, and iguanas.
  3. Bukit Lawang (Indonesia). Indonesia itself is pretty great, and if you make it there one day, Bukit Lawang needs to be your first stop. This village is home to a huge orangutan rehabilitation center (and not to mention wild orangutans), beautiful rivers, bat caves, waterfalls, and other gorgeous scenery. It’s also extremely affordable and non-touristy.
  4. Cambodia. This Southeast Asian country has a reputation for being dangerous and forlorn (thanks to the regime of the Khmer Rouge), but it truly is a must-see for adventuresome travelers. Here you’ll be able to visit the highly impressive Ankor Wat, which is known as the best temple complex in the world. There are many other historical sites to check out in Cambodia, including the infamous Tuol Sleng prison. You’ll also find that Cambodian people are known for their hospitality and politeness. This country is a truly beautiful and special place.
  5. New Zealand. This incredibly biodiverse country routinely tops adventure travel lists – and for good reason. New Zealand may be small, but it’s also home to some of the most miraculous nature spots in the world – there are breathtaking mountains, volcanoes, beaches, caverns, and more. Go rafting or spelunking in the famed Waitomo Caves, sailing along the coast, or get in some of the best hiking of your life in this stunning country.
  6. Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one serious slice of utopia. Potential activities here include dining among wild howler monkeys, walking along beautiful black sand beaches, and for the truly adventurous – venturing into the jungle for the best zip-lining experience of your life. Canopy lines stretch for hundreds of meters, and give you the opportunity to see Costa Rica’s beautiful natural settings in the most unique and exciting way possible. Interestingly enough, Costa Rica is also considered the happiest place on the planet, according to the Happy Planet Index rating.
  7. Norway. When people think of Norway, they mostly think of Vikings – but, the truth is, this gorgeous country has a lot more to offer than Viking history. There’s a plethora of opportunities for adventure here. Winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and more. If it’s cycling you’re into, try visiting during the summertime in order to experience some of the best mountain biking in the world. Norway is also known for its many fjords, so you’ll easily be able to indulge in some canoeing and kayaking, as well. The country is also a premier spot for wildlife lovers – how many other places in the world can you spot reindeer, musk ox, and killer whales?
  8. Australia. This is easily the best spot on the list. For travelers who thrive on adventure and thrills, Australia continually ranks as the number one place to go. There is so much to see and do here; you’d need at least a couple months to be able to take it all in. The Australian environment is so incredibly varied – there’s the Great Barrier Reef, where you can experience amazing snorkeling and diving; the Outback is the place for the best cycling and spelunking; and you can also get in some awesome hiking and climbing at Ayers Rock and the Blue Mountain. Experiencing the aboriginal culture of Australia is a must, too, when you visit the country. Go to the Tjapukai Aboriginal National Park for an experience you’ll never forget.
  9. East Africa. Yes, this is a rather broad categorization. But, the thing is, there are so many places to see in this part of the world that it’s difficult to narrow it down. Visit the number of wonderful parks and preserves here for amazing hiking and nature-spotting: some of these places include Nakuru Park in Kenya; Amboseli Park, also in Kenya; and the Ethiopian Highlands. In addition to seeing amazing wildlife, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of some ancient African tribes, including the Dorse, Bana, and Masai.
  10. South Africa. This amazing country boasts the highest commercial bungee jump in the entire world (Bloukrans Bridge) – if that doesn’t perk your adventure-travel senses, then nothing else will. Like the rest of the countries on this list, South Africa is a staggeringly gorgeous place. You can do it all here: mountain biking, hang gliding, rock climbing, and sand boarding – all while enjoying the bountiful beauty that the country has to offer.
Justine Harrington works for Without The Stress, a same day us passport service headquartered in Los Angeles. In addition to expediting us passports, the company assists travelers with processes such as how to renew a child passport, or how to obtain a second passport. Image by James Qualtrough