Do you have a sense of adventure but not sure where to go? If you’re feeling particularly bold and brave this year, a quiet beach holiday is probably not your idea of fun. Maybe you feel the pull of the unknown or a call of the wild – whichever it is, you know you want a destination and activities that will help you feel alive.

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From the heart-stopping plunge of bungee jumping in New Zealand to the exhilarating glide down the sand dunes in Namibia, or even a breathtaking trek through the rugged terrains of Patagonia, the world has plenty of destinations that promise not just memories, but everything an adventurer would want. If you’re a thrill-seeker at heart, here we’ll look at where to go and what to do so that you can plan a journey that is both exhilarating and safe.

What Type of Adventure Do You Choose?

You want a bit of excitement, but do you stay closer to home or fly long-haul for an adventure of a lifetime? Pinpointing a destination and a particular activity is tough, especially if you have a range of interests. One thing is for sure, you’re not alone, as adventure tourism is a growing market globally worth $288 billion, covering everything from mountaineering to scuba diving.

Before you do decide, you’ll want to have a quick self-check to consider your current physical fitness and skill level to select something that aligns with your capabilities and passions. Whether you're drawn to the adrenaline rush of high-altitude trekking, the serenity of kayaking through calm waters, or even the challenge of desert exploration, understanding your limits is key to enjoying your trip to the fullest.

Preparing for Your Adventure

Whilst you may have the spontaneous urge to satisfy the thrill-seeker inside you as soon as possible, you will require more than just a spirit of adventure. Any form of adventure travel needs careful preparation to help you get the most out of your experience while staying safe.

Gear and Clothing – Equip yourself with the right gear and clothing suited to your destination's climate and activities. This might mean breathable, moisture-wicking clothing for trekking in humid conditions, or warm, layered clothing for high-altitude adventures . Also, you’ll want good quality adventure gear, such as a high-quality backpack, hiking boots, and specialised equipment like helmets or harnesses, if your activities demand them. There are plenty of travel packing lists you can find online, such as this handy checklist from Recreational Equipment Inc. that you can keep handy by printing out.

Travel Insurance – Adventure travel has its risks, so having the right insurance gives you peace of mind no matter what you get up to. Look for insurance that offers comprehensive coverage that includes essentials like medical repatriation and coverage for any specific activities you plan to undertake, including pre-existing medical conditions.

Health Preparations – Depending on your destination, you may need vaccinations or preventive medications. You can check the foreign travel advice page on for up-to-date information on the country you are planning to visit. Additionally, it’s a good idea to build your physical fitness in the months leading up to your trip. Improving stamina, strength, and flexibility can greatly enhance your enjoyment and capability in various activities.

Research and Planning – Understand the specifics of your chosen activities and destinations. If you're going into remote or challenging environments, consider booking through reputable tour operators who prioritise safety and have expert local knowledge.

Ideal Destinations for Adventure Seekers

The best adventure travel takes you to the edges of the world and the limits of your comfort zone, so here are five destinations that promise unforgettable thrills and an abundance of natural beauty. Each offers a unique experience for every type of adventurer – the difficult part is deciding which to visit and experience first…

#1 – New Zealand: Bungee Jumping, Canyon Swinging & More

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Not only is New Zealand famed for its stunning landscapes, it offers the perfect ways to enjoy them that go beyond a simple coach tour. Everything from skydiving to jet boating, and canyon swinging to river surfing can be enjoyed when heading to Queenstown on the South Island, often hailed as the adventure capital of the world.

Bungee jumping here isn't just an activity, it's an absolute must as it’s home to some of the highest jumps in the world, including the Kawaru Bridge which is home to the world’s first bungee jumping operation and Nevis Bungy, which is the highest in the country at 134 metres.

If you’re looking to get the best of the weather, the ideal time to visit is during the summer months from December to February , when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities.

#2 – Namibia: Sandboarding and Desert Adventures

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If you head to Namibia in Southern Africa you’ll find the Namib Desert, the oldest in the world , with its vast dunes that offer a surreal landscape for anyone wanting to try sandboarding. As you may have guessed, this combines the thrill of snowboarding with the warmth and beauty of the desert, gliding along on talcum-powder soft sand.

Not only that, but you can also experience skydiving over the coastal town of Swakopmund which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with epic views of the dunes and Atlantic Ocean . Between May and September offers cooler temperatures during Namibia’s dry season so you can enjoy everything it has to offer without feeling too humid.

#3 – Patagonia: Trekking the Wild Frontiers

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Patagonia's rugged landscapes are perfect for trekkers seeking solitude and breathtaking scenery. There’s something for everyone here with Patagonia covering the tail end of the Andes Mountain range, full of fjords, rainforests, glaciers, and even deserts.

The Torres del Paine National Park is home to the W Trek, named after the shape of the trail, which is seen as one of the world’s best hikes . You can also visit Los Glaciares National Park to catch a glimpse of the Glacier Perito Moreno, which stretches 30km across Lake Argentino . If hiking isn’t enough, try kayaking through the fjords for a more intimate adventure where you could even encounter whales along the way.

The best time to explore is during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, from November to March . Trekking in Patagonia requires preparation and respect for the unpredictable weather, so guided tours are recommended for navigating the remote trails safely.

#4 – Nepal: Himalayan Trekking, Mountaineering & More

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If you want adventure, you cannot ignore Nepal, home to eight of the world's ten highest peaks including Everest . Nepal offers unparalleled opportunities for high-altitude trekking and mountaineering if you really want to test your endurance. However, there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy such as rock climbing in the village of Hattiban, or river rafting along the Sun Koshi river.

To make the most of trekking, October to December brings dry days and good visibility in Nepal, but you can also visit in Autumn (September to November) or Spring (February to April) for clear skies and temperate weather . Acclimatisation days are essential for high-altitude treks to manage your breathing , and hiring local guides not only supports the community but also ensures a safer journey.

#5 – Costa Rica: Zip Lining and Rainforest Exploration

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Costa Rica's rich biodiversity makes it a playground for adventure seekers with 30 national parks to explore and enjoy . If you like the sound of zip lining through the canopy for an exhilarating perspective on the rainforest, you won’t be disappointed, including the Arenal Reserve where you can take a tram into the canopy before zipping down for spectacular views.

You also won’t want to miss the chance to try white water rafting down the Pacuare River, with Costa Rica home to many great locations to enjoy this exhilarating activity . The Costa Rica dry season is from December to April and is the best time to visit, but travel prepared for the rain just in case.

Ready For Your Next Adventure?

It’s great to have a sense of adventure, allowing you to explore the world beyond the ordinary. It’s not for everyone of course, but hopefully, the five locations above will give you plenty to consider. There are many other destinations out there you’ll want to research further too, so choosing just one will be tough – good luck!

March 2024