Get too close to a runway in America, and you'll be in serious trouble. Stand on a beach directly under a flightpath of jumbo jets approaching the airport a mere 100 feet above your head? Only at Maho Beach in Saint Martin, where beachgoers have to be warned that standing too close to aircraft can "result in serious injury and/or death", as the jet blast can literally blow away tourists.
Visit the top of an active volcano? Why not. Slide down the volcanic stones all the way to the bottom, at speeds of over 40mph on a wooden sled? Sure, as long as you pay $30. With Tierra Tours, you can sled down Cerro Negro, an active volcano outside of Leon Nicaragua, on a wooden board, while wearing a protective suit and goggles. No brakes and no fear allowed.
The road used to be the only way to get between La Paz and the jungle region of the Yungas, but in 2007, a new paved highway connected the two, leaving the "Death Road" mostly empty of vehicular traffic—but attracting thrill-seeking cyclists instead. In fact, according to one of Bolivia's largest bike tour operator, bike traffic on the road has increased by about five percent every year, despite the cyclists that die during tours every year.
We can't imagine this happening at a tourist attraction in the U.S.—in 2009, after two visitors died at Skellig Michael, a review of the island's safety conditions was held. The verdict? Adding railings to the steep, uneven, slippery 1,000-year-old stone stairs would destroy the natural beauty of the site (and also lull people into a false sense of security), so the only safety precautions taken at this former monastic site were adding signs and giving out pamphlets that warn of the dangers.
The journey to the summit is steep (and often slick after a rain), and there may only be a handrail (or nothing at all) to stop you from plunging off the narrow pathways and into the void. Descending the uneven stone steps on the way down is precarious and will test the nerves of anyone with even an ounce of self-preservation.