Many travelers are driven by adrenaline and dream of accomplishing extreme goals throughout their travels. Be it reaching the summit of the tallest mountain on a continent or going to the deepest point of a cave, many of us get a heightened sense of being alive when we push our limits and experience the fear of the unknown, the pain of the challenge, and the glory of the accomplishment.
I'm one of those, so here I want to share five extremely adventurous activities you should do on your travels at some point in your life. Of course, having the right kind of adventure travel insurance policy is key before tackling any or all of these challenges.
While New Zealand no longer holds the title of having the tallest bungee jump in the world (that title goes to Macau Tower with 233 meters or 764 feet in height, in Macau), I still recommend going to Queenstown to be at the mercy of gravity and a rubbery rope. In fact, New Zealand is the motherland of commercial bungee jumping.
There you'll experience the very first commercial bungee jump, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, with a drop of 43 meters (141 feet). There is also the Nevis jump, which has a drop of 134 meters (439 feet) and 8.5 seconds of free fall. That's a lot of time free falling!
Great White Sharks are notorious for being dangerous animals, and let's face it, they are! Still, there are ways to get a close encounter with them and still come out in one piece.
Cape Town, in South Africa, is one of the best places to do cage diving with Great White Sharks. Here, after a short boat ride, you'll get inside a steel cage. Once in, you'll dip in the water to see how sharks, measuring 4 meters (13 feet) in length and more, jump high, breaching the water as if doing a stunt.
The climb itself is not necessarily extreme, but the entire hike is quite challenging and physically demanding due to the high altitude and cold weather. In fact, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa!
The hike takes three and a half days to reach the summit, located 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level. Most hikers reach the peak in time to see the sunrise, which I can say from experience, is one of the most beautiful sunrise spots in the world.
When they named the Yungas Road the World's Most Dangerous Road, they were not kidding about it. This narrow, unpaved gravel road has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including 18 unfortunate tourists biking down the road on tours. Yes, this road is truly dangerous. But, what makes it so dangerous? The sheer cliffs at every single curve, the loose gravel road that can crumble at any moment and the lack of guardrails all along the road make it truly unsafe.
Bikers drop over 3,300 meters in height in just 62 kilometers of dangerous yet exciting roads and scenery at speeds that are not recommended on any road, much less on this one! It is a bumpy ride, but as bumpy as it is, it is exciting and full of beautiful natural landscapes and views of the jungle and forested valley below. Should you do it, I recommend going with a company that has a perfect safety record and takes safety very seriously. One such company is Gravity Assisted, and I had an excellent experience with them.
There are actually two Everest Base Camps, one on the South or Nepalese side of Everest, at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet), and one on the North or Tibetan side, at an altitude of 5,150 meters (16,900 feet).
Hikers visiting Everest with the hopes of reaching the summit use these base camps to acclimatize to the altitude before continuing their journey. But, you don't have to plan on reaching the summit to get the base camp experience. In fact, the Everest Base Camp trek on the south side is one of the most popular trekking routes in all the Himalayas, and it is visited by thousands of trekkers each year.
The northern camp is more difficult to hike since it requires a permit from the Chinese Government, in addition to the permit needed to enter Tibet. Still, it must be quite an adventure to reach the camp and be at the base of the tallest mountain on Earth!
Would you do any of these extreme adventures?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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