Top 10 adventure vacations

Feeling a little daring? On your next vacation, try something new. You haven’t really travelled until you’ve left your comfort zone. Even in remote corners of the world you can find expert guides ready to supply you with everything you need for an adventure. Make your trip as easy or intense as you want — you can find challenging whitewater rapids, or go on easy snorkeling outings. No matter what you do, find something that you’ll remember long after you return home and unpack your bags.

1. Trekking in the Colca Canyon, Peru

Take a multi-day trek through the Colca Canyon to see Peru’s most remote and breathtaking scenery. Small villages surround the canyon, and the river has intense rapids. Crane your neck upward to keep an eye out for the outstretched wings of an Andean condor. This is an exceptionally rare bird, and bird watchers come here just to catch a glimpse.

Colca Canyon

2. Rafting the Cahabón River in Guatemala

Along long stretches of the Cahabón River you can find advanced Class III and Class IV rapids. As you raft down calm parts of the river you’ll have the chance to see toucans flitting between the trees on the banks of the river. You can find tours that leave from the town of Lanquín, and local guides can help you safely navigate the rapids of your choosing. Near the lower gorge you can also explore caves, waterfalls, and hot springs.

Cahabon Rafting

3. Zip lining in Monteverde, Costa Rica

People come to Monteverde to see the incredible wildlife that make in the uppermost branches of a rare cloud forest. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful birds and butterflies. Visit the Selvatura Park for a zip-lining adventure that covers two miles (3.2 km) of the Monteverde canopy. One your way through the rainforest you can glide across 15 different cables.

Zip Lining Monteverde

4. Sand Boarding near Paracas, Peru

Dune Surfing Paracas

Near the coastal town of Paracas you can visit Peru’s California Desert and explore the sand dunes. The smooth sand and endless blue sky will make you feel like you’re on another planet. You can find tours that will take you over the dunes in a buggy. Mount a sand board (you can stand or sit) and coast along the smooth slopes of ancient sands.

Dune Buggy Paracas

5. Surfing in Máncora, Peru

Máncora was a fishing village in northern Peru before it started getting popular as a surfing destination. No matter what time of year it is, this beach in northern Peru has excellent surfing conditions, with warm waters and waves that typically reach around 10 feet (3 m).

Mancora Surfing

6. Kayaking in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama

The Gulf of Chiriquí has diverse wildlife and idyllic beaches. You can paddle from one island to the next, and see mangrove forests and coral reefs along the way. While you’re here you can visit marine parks like the Coiba National Park, which protects virgin rainforest on the gulf’s bio-diverse islands.

Boquete Kayak

7. Spelunking in the Candelaria Caves, Guatemala

Put on your hard hat for some memorable spelunking in Guatemala. Candelaria Cave is made up of 7 separate caves, all of which are connected by a river. All together the caves cover 14 miles (22 km) and have ceilings that reach as high as 200 feet (60 m). At certain points the sunlight streams through and opening in the cave ceilings, giving you chance to see the inside of the caves illuminated.

Caving Candelaria

8. Snorkeling at Mexico Rocks, Belize 

Go snorkeling around Mexico Rocks for an easy snorkeling adventure near Ambergris Caye. There are interesting diving and snorkeling sites all over Belize, but this is a good spot for beginners because the water here does not get very deep. While you’re here you can peek into the crevices between the rocks. In addition to colorful tropical fish you’ll also have the chance to see sand sharks and barracuda.

Snorkel Mexico Rocks

9. Canoeing through Barton Creek Cave, Belize

Take a canoe through the Barton Creek Cave to see elaborate stalagmites and stalactites. Your guide will tell you about the Maya history of the cave, as well as some of the interesting Maya artifacts that archaeologists have found here.

Xunantunich Caonoing

10. Horseback riding near Salinas Bay, Costa Rica

Make a four-legged friend and head into the hills near Salinas Bay. Animals like peccaries and agoutis may cross your path, and different species of monkeys live in the surrounding trees. You’ll come to sweeping views where you’ll see the waves crashing on the beach in the distance.

Horseback Riding Salinas Bay

Zach Smith is CEO of Anywhere.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Richard Eldred Hawes says:

    The world is full of so many places to go for an adventure it must be difficult to pick only 10. But to enjoy those you have picked it would be best if you were young and fit

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