The Baltic coast of Estonia is wild, unspoiled and incredibly scenic. While many of its 1,500 islands were once used for Soviet military testing in the 1950s, today, they serve as wildlife havens. One of the best ways to explore this coast is by kayak, where you’ll paddle between the islands, and among the haunting remains of abandoned farmhouses and Russian watchtowers as well as an abundance of birdlife.
Belize offers a multitude of thrills in the water and on land. One of the best ways to experience it all is to take the Glover’s Reef & Jungle Multisport excursion through REI Adventures where you’ll dive or snorkel among the cerulean waters and coral reefs, sea kayak and paddleboard as well as paddle a river that winds through culturally rich coastal villages, zip line across Belize’s longest course and repel down waterfalls.
If you’ve always wanted to visit Vietnam and cycling is your thing, REI Adventures offers the chance to explore the changing face of the country while pedaling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, visiting local markets, rural villages, beaches, jungles, rice paddies and working pagodas along the way. You’ll ride from 12 to 62 miles each day, while getting the opportunity to meet the warm and welcoming locals, relishing a close-up view of rural life here that most don’t get to experience.
West Virginia is renowned for its fantastic whitewater rafting, and in New River Gorge, at Adventures on the Gorge located near Fayetteville, visitors can not only take part in rafting on the New and Gauley Rivers, but can enjoy other thrills, like zip lining and canopy tours while staying in deluxe two- to four-bedroom cabins or camping out under the stars.
There is something for every type of adventurer in the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, and Banff is one of the most scenic places for active people to make the most of their vacation. You’ll have the chance to experience the heart-pounding thrills of Kicking Horse River, with a variety of rafting trips for everyone from the beginner to the highly experienced, or if you want to stay dry, consider a pack trip on horseback through the magnificent mountains.
The Swiss Alps are renowned for spectacular mountain scenery, and the opportunity for ice climbing during the winter. Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced, if you think you’re up to the challenge, you can take a seven-night trip with the International School of Mountaineering that starts from Leysin, a picturesque village in the Vaud Alps above Montreux. As it also happens to host a ski resort and toboggan park, you can combine a little fun with some more extreme adventure.
Joshua Tree National Park in the desert of Southern California just two hours from Los Angeles offers a ton of activities in an other-worldly landscape for those looking for adventures, including challenging scrambles through the wonderland of massively-sized rocks in remote canyons, long hikes, rock climbing and just simply kicking back to take in some of the best stargazing on the planet after dark.
Slot canyons, created by water over millions of years, offer an adventure experience that is not only incredibly unforgettable but vastly different from anything you’ve probably seen before. The slot canyons like the 2,000-square-mile sandstone slab known as the San Rafael Swell, develop in Utah’s Moab region as a result of the slick rock landscape and rainfall.
Patagonia, located in the southern region of Argentina, not only offers some of the most unspoiled natural landscapes and unparalleled vistas in the Andes, but it’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream. In 2016, you can join renowned South American photographer and nature documentary filmmaker Ossian Lindholm on a Patagonian hiking and photo tour that combines Chiloe Island and Torres Del Paine National Park.
Located in the northern region of Tanzania, it’s hard to beat the Serengeti when it comes to adventures in the wild. Located in the northern region of Tanzania, fewer than 100,000 visit each year, but those who do are rewarded with the sights of lions, zebras, wildebeests, crocodiles, gazelle and buffalo. You can take a land safari by vehicle, or see everything from above in a hot-air balloon.
Victoria Falls, straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe is even more impressive than Niagra Falls. Over 330 feet high and a mile across, during the high season, from February to April, it’s the largest waterfall in the world. The region offers all sorts of adventurous activities in addition to viewing the incredibly massive falls, including the wildest white water rafting trip in the world, zip lining, gorge swings, rappelling and an over 364-foot-high bungee jump.
New Zealand is renowned for its endless opportunities for heart-pounding adventures that can be enjoyed among some of the most impressive scenery on the planet, from soaring snow-capped mountains filled with jewel-like lakes to brilliant turquoise waters along the coast. Consider taking in the country’s beauty from 12,000 feet above ground by sky diving – there are skydiving operations throughout New Zealand, offering tandem jumps over jaw-dropping landscapes, including secluded beaches.