The 19 Best Travel Destinations for Adventure Junkies
Adventure is out there! It’s time to use that PTO and take a much-needed vacation. Whether you’re a domestic diva, an international itinerant or an aimless wanderer, there are endless adventures around the world just waiting for you. We asked some of Instagram’s most influential travelers to share their favorite vacation destinations for adventure junkies. Here’s what they said.
“From the ruby-red deserts to the moonlike landscape, the lost city of Petra to floating in the Dead Sea, Jordan is an epic location for adventurers. In Petra you can explore the more than 2,000-year-old rose-red city. In Wadi Rum, you can go four-wheeling, ride in a hot air balloon and camp in a landscape similar to Mars. If you’re a diver, head down to Aqaba to dive the depths of the Red Sea. As Jordan isn’t even half the size of California, it’s easy to drive between the adventurous locations.” —Collette and Scott Stohler, founders of @roamaroo
Read more: Follow Collette and Scott’s Adventures!
“Iceland has something to offer every level of adventurer. For those who enjoy hiking, glacier climbing or flying in helicopters over active volcanoes, the natural landscape of the island opens countless opportunities for the thrill junkie! I’ve traveled to Iceland on two different occasions and have always found something new and exciting to do. My most memorable adventure was diving the Silfra Fissure — the gap between the North American and Eurasian continents!” —Kiersten Rich, creator of @theblondeabroad
Read more: Follow Kiersten’s Adventures!
3. The Philippines
“With more than 7,000 islands to explore, the Philippines is an adventure lover’s paradise. Some of the most amazing diving in the world can be found here — from swimming with giant whale sharks to visiting sunken WWII warships. On land, you can hike otherworldly places like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol or explore the one-of-a-kind Palawan Island. With so many islands in the Philippines, this amazing country could fill an entire bucket list of an adventure lover. Our personal favorite is El Nido. It definitely belongs on the list.” —Hannah and Adam Lukaszewicz, founders of @GettingStamped
Read more: Follow Hannah and Adam’s Adventures!
“With an incredibly diverse, unique landscape, Turkey is the perfect spot for adventurous activities, such as hiking, rappelling, climbing, paragliding and sailing. We explored Cappadocia in central Turkey, where the landscape is a perfect fit for hiking, climbing and rappelling. And Oludeniz is home to one of the highest commercial takeoff sites for paragliding in the world. There’s nothing like jumping off Babadag Mountain to get your adrenaline pumping! We also hiked to Butterfly Valley, a hidden gem on the coast. The climb down into the valley from the cliffs high above makes you feel like you’ve earned your spot in paradise when you arrive!” —Andrea and Bryan LeBlang, creators of @bestworldyet
Read more: Follow Andrea and Bryan’s Adventures!
5. New Zealand
“New Zealand was basically created for adventure junkies. Not only is it frustratingly beautiful, but it’s pretty much one big adventure park just waiting to be explored! Camper van road trips are currently the most popular way to see the country. Of course, hiking, camping and bungee jumping are a must!” —Alyssa Ramos, creator of @mylifesatravelmovie
Read more: Follow Alyssa’s Adventures!
6. The Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy
“This has to go down as our favorite mountain range in the whole world. So much to explore, so many lakes and little towns nearby. You can sleep in a mountain hut and wake up before sunrise to watch the mist and morning glow shining on the peaks. A truly magical part of the world.” —Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, founders of @howfarfromhome
Read more: Follow Chanel and Steve’s Adventures!
7. The Canadian Rockies
“The Canadian Rockies is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet. There’s no shortage of incredible peaks to climb, blue lakes to jump in or gigantic glaciers to explore. My favorite area by far is Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. No matter how many times we go, it still takes my breath away. Some of my favorite hikes and scrambles are located here — the Tower of Babel, Mount Temple, Sentinel Pass and Consolation Lakes. The best part about hiking here is that on summer days after a long, hot hike, we love jumping into freezing-cold, glacier-fed Moraine Lake.” —Louise T, creator of @wzylouisey
Read more: Follow Louise’s Adventures!
8. Silk Road
“This part of the world is completely untouched and off the beaten track, attracting the most adventurous travelers. There’s everything from driving or biking along winding cliffside roads to hitchhiking the highest highways in the world (Karakoram and Pamir Highway) to camping at the edge of a fiery crater in the desert to backcountry trekking and horseback riding through the mountain ranges to climbing temples and wooden planks built on the side of mountains to sleeping in yurts under the stars at the foothills of Hindu Kush. The ancient roads bridged two sides of the world, interweaving completely different religions, art, music, architecture, food, philosophy and literature.” —Sophia Kim, creator of @sophiakimtravels
Read more: Follow Sophia’s Adventures!
9. Sedona, Arizona
“Head to Sedona for an adventurous journey through red rocks. The desert there is known for its energy vortexes. Hike your way through Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock and take a helicopter ride through the canyons to see untouched Native American ruins. Make sure to take in one of the most incredible sunsets in the world at Cathedral Rock as the sun illuminates the red mountains and makes them come alive.” —Collette and Scott Stohler, founders of @roamaroo
“I’ve visited Canada in both the winter and summer months and have found that the different seasons there offer tons of opportunities for adventure seekers — from skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter to backcountry hiking, fishing and even diving in some of the lakes in the summer! Whistler is one of my favorite destinations for snowboarding and winter sports.” —Kiersten Rich, creator of @theblondeabroad
Read more: Follow Kiersten’s Adventures on Instagram!
“Belize is the perfect destination all wrapped up into a small country. Along the coast you have one of the world’s largest reef systems just off some great beaches. Inland you’ll find Mayan ruins, dense jungles and even underground rivers and caves. Belize offers everything that gets adrenaline junkies’ hearts pumping while surrounded by stunning landscapes.” —Hannah and Adam Lukaszewicz, founder of @GettingStamped
12. Azores Islands, Portugal
“Just a short flight from the mainland of Portugal, you can find yourself on some stunning islands known as the Azores that are just crawling with adventures waiting to happen! The largest, Sao Miguel, is what I would describe as “Avatar” mixed with Hobbiton, and you can drive around the whole island in just a couple of days! There’s everything from waterfalls to hot springs to black sand beaches to extinct volcanic mountains!” —Alyssa Ramos, creator of @mylifesatravelmovie
Read more: Follow Alyssa’s Adventures on Instagram!
“A hidden gem at the bottom of Africa, this country exudes adventure from the moment you arrive. Sand dunes, ancient deserts, dried-up wetlands that look like they’re from another planet and a world-famous reserve teaming with wildlife. Our recommendation is to hire an SUV with a tent on the roof and just hit the road.” —Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, founders of @howfarfromhome
“This little island has a lot to offer, whether you like the ocean or scaling mountains. Our favorite spots included a secret diving board and hidden tide pools. We found most of the hidden spots through making friends with locals, who always have the best recommendations. The secret diving board is located directly underneath Pelee’s Seat, a well-known giant rock formation. The hidden tide pools have an official name: Makapu’u Tide Pools. They’re almost impossible to reach at high tide, making them accessible only at certain times of day.” —Louise T, creator of @wzylouisey
Read more: Follow Louise’s Adventures on Instagram!
“There’s a reason Uganda’s nickname is the Pearl of Africa: There’s such diversity in its landscape and so many adrenaline-filled activities. You can go whitewater rafting or bungee jumping in the Nile River, trek through the forest to find families of wild gorillas, backpack 5,119 meters up to Margherita Peak, stay in a treehouse bungalow within the Rwenzori Mountains, canoe inside a hollowed-out tree trunk amongst thousands of islands and sleep in a natural geodome on Lake Bunyonyi, ride on top of a matatu van on the bumping terrain amongst wild animals within the safaris or feel the immense power of Murchison Falls.” —Sophia Kim, creator of @sophiakimtravels
Read more: Follow Sophia’s Adventures on Instagram!
“While everyone knows of the adventure that awaits at Machu Picchu, the entire country, specifically the Cusco area, abounds with adventures. Once you’ve acclimated to being 11,000 feet above sea level, head deeper into the mountains to explore the aptly named Rainbow Mountain, also known as Ausangate. This Andean mountain range is streaked with shades of red, turquoise, gold and blue. A trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without a journey on the Inca Trail to the great Machu Picchu.” —Collette and Scott Stohler, founders of @roamaroo
17. Pamukkale, Turkey
“Just getting to Pamukkale is an adventure in itself. It’s off the beaten path from the typical popular locations like Istanbul and Cappadocia, but getting to a rural, rather untouched area with this kind of natural wonder is truly worth the journey. Pamukkale translates to “cloud castle,” and, as you can see in the photo, there’s a really good reason for that. The white pools are actually calcium deposits (not ice), and some of them are actually really warm and even hot!” —Alyssa Ramos, creator of @mylifesatravelmovie
18. South Africa
“Our home country is one of the most diverse and adventurous in the world. Rugged coastline stretching along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, deserts, towering mountain ranges, lush bush that’s home to more than 800 bird species and the famous Big Five animals of Africa. You can camp, whitewater raft, hike, surf, kayak, paraglide and sandboard your way around this gorgeous country. It all just depends on how much time you have.” —Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, founders of @howfarfromhome
19. Zion National Park, Utah
“Zion has some of the craziest hikes we’ve ever done. From walking in waist-deep freezing water up a canyon to scaling a ridge so narrow you have to hold onto chains, Zion is definitely the place for thrill seekers. Late fall is a great time to visit Zion, as I’ve heard it’s extremely hot in the summer and most people are on holiday then, so it can get crowded. Be careful and check conditions before you do any hiking, as this area is known for flash floods. My favorite hikes are Angels Landing, the hike with chains; The Narrows, a slot canyon where you will get wet; and The Subway, another slot canyon with a slight chance of getting wet.” —Louise T, creator of @wzylouisey
What Do YOU Think?
Are you looking to plan your next adventure? Where are your favorite places to travel? Have you been to any of the places on this list? Are there others that you would add? Did any of these inspire a little bit of wanderlust? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!
Collette Stohler is the author of Passport to Fitness. She is also the creative director and co-founder of the travel blog, Roamaroo. She was an All-American Track and Field athlete & Olympic trials qualifier in Olympic Weightlifting. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree from the University of Miami.