What are the best destinations for adventure travel?
Inclusive Excursions’ Top 5 Adventure Travel Destinations
With so much to explore on our beautiful planet, deciding where to go and what to do can be difficult. It was hard to select just a few but lucky for you, we’ve narrowed it down to what we think are the top five destinations for Adventure Travel. This will give you food for thought when planning your next trip!
#5 – Colorado
Colorado has been building in popularity and has become quite a haven for adventure travelers. Colorado offers a bit of everything, except, of course, the ocean. A landlocked state, Colorado is basically dead smack right in the center of the United States. This, however, does not stop the adventurers from flocking to this great state year after year! With stunning scenery and activities year round, who could blame them? Colorado and the surrounding states are home to some of the gnarliest and tallest mountains in the country. Mount Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado, coming in at 14,440 feet! That’s high! From summer to winter, if you like to adventure, this is your state!
What to do in Colorado?
- Whitewater rafting – The Colorado River will give you a good thrill as you battle its rapids or take a more soothing ride through some of the more mellow rivers in the state.
- Skiing/Snowboarding/Snowmobiling – With many favorite ski resorts, each one bigger and badder than the next, Colorado has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Heavy snowfall and breathtaking scenery make a perfect combination for winter fun.
- Fly Fishing – Colorado offers year ‘round fly fishing that will be sure to intrigue the avid fisherman. Some of the biggest trout are pulled out of the rivers of Colorado.
- Horseback riding – Colorado has some beautiful trails for horseback. If you are riding via horse, there is no need to worry about passer-bys startling your steed. The people of Colorado welcome riders. Plan an overnight adventure or ride for an afternoon, horseback riding in Colorado will be a one-of-a-kind experience.
- Mountain biking – Colorado is known for its mountain bike trails, BMX jumps, and downhill bike parks at ski resorts.
- Trekking/Backpacking – Colorado is known for its vast amount of backpacking trails. Here, you can go into your local coffee shop, ask someone where to hike, and you will surely get some informative details on where to go. For best results, see your favorite adventure agent for maps or guides.
…and there is so much more!
#4 – Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It has been said that you can see more here in one day than anywhere else in the world. Take a day hike up the massive granite face of Half Dome, and experience spectacular panoramic views! The views are well worth the climb. Yosemite offers some of the most breathtaking day hikes and most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the world! It’s certainly one of the most amazing places on the planet and will be one to remember, as long as you plan ahead. If you visit outside the popular summer months, you’ll likely avoid the crowds. If you do visit during the summer season, make sure to get out bright and early to avoid them. Yosemite’s beauty makes it a destination all adventurers should experience at least once in their lifetime.
What to do in Yosemite?
- Day hikes – Hike to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail or summit Half Dome.
- Camping – The camping here is spectacular. If you are a beginner camper, you might enjoy glamping. This is camping with resort-style amenities. Campground reservations are strongly suggested because they book up fast, so planning ahead is recommended.
- Biking – Yosemite offers over 12 miles of paved bike trails, which is great for beginners.
#3 – Swiss Alps, Switzerland
The Swiss Alps or “The Alpine Region of Switzerland” is made up of the most monumental mountains in the country, complimenting the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains. The Swiss Alps bring many adventurers each and every year. People travel here from all parts of the world. A group of friends who traveled here to paraglide are seen living their dreams. This is an amazing place, and for sure, it is one of our favorites! Everything is on a large scale here. The skiing, mountain biking, backpacking…it is all 10x as good here! This destination is a must for every adventurers’ bucket list.
What to do in the Swiss Alps?
- Skiing – the skiing in the Alps are hard to beat. Really, picture jagged mountain peaks all around covered in layers and layers of that poofy pow! It is a truly life changing experience.
- Mountain Biking – The trails here are incredible. Picture yourself on top of a beautiful mountain, and then racing down it with your friends…Exhilarating!
- Swiss Rail Tour – Explore the Alps on a first class rail on the legendary rail of Switzerland. Experience scenery you couldn’t experience any other way!
- Trekking/Backpacking – Some of the most memorable and best stories are from the Alps. Ask anyone who has hiked here and they will say, “pack your bags!”
This is just a few of many adventures in the Alps. There are many, many more.
#2 – Patagonia / Chile
- Patagonia is located at the southern tip of Chile South America; it is often referred to as “the edge of the world.” Patagonia slopes down from the Andes towards Antarctica. It is sometimes considered the last frontier of South America covering the sparsely inhabited southern regions of both Chile and Argentina. While you explore through the legendary beauty of Patagonia, get ready to feel like an ant in a city. In Patagonia, Mother Nature runs the show. You will experience the massive volcanoes, towering glaciers, and beautiful floating blue/white icebergs. The green Steppe plains and blue mountain lakes make for yet another reason for beauty in Patagonia. The mountains are white-capped and poke through the clouds to create a dream-like panoramic view. Although called “the edge of the Earth,” Patagonia is now easier than ever to travel to because of its increased access in and out of Santiago, Chile.
- Tourists can set out on a road trip or explore the far corners via cruise ship to get even closer to the beauties of Patagonia. On the Argentinian side, San Carlos de Bariloche is a popular mountain resort and town that offers all the facilities and outdoor pursuits of the Swiss Alps, without the price. Make sure to check out the town of El Chalten – Argentina ’s trekking capital in the Southern Andes. With beautiful waterfalls, immense volcanoes, mountains, and glaciers, and so much more to offer, we had to put Patagonia up at the top of our list.
What to do in Patagonia?
- Make friends with penguins – Chillin’ with penguins in Punta Tombo Argentina should most definitely be on your list of to-dos!
- Kayak – float in one of the blue glacial lakes with floating icebergs, or take it to a more adrenaline pumping river.
- White Water Rafting – Raft down the Futaleufu River with raging rapids, lush green forests, and jagged mountain peaks.
- Mountain biking – MTB through the trails by the mountains, lakes and volcanoes.
- Killer whale watching – experience some of the most amazing creatures in the world up close and personal.
- Skiing – Skiing/snowboarding in Patagonia is life changing…(along with almost everything else here.) The snow, the culture, the mountains, and the terrain all make it for a must do!
- Horseback riding – Ride through the mountain trails are like nowhere else on Earth.
- …and much more
#1 – New Zealand
This is a remote island paradise and home to only 4.5 million people who call themselves Kiwis. Kiwi is also the name of the country’s national symbol which is a flightless bird. From its active volcanoes, deep glacial lakes, unique wildlife, and towering mountains, this place is like another dimension!
Although there are about six hundred smaller islands, New Zealand is actually two main landmasses; the north island and the south island. If your favorite animal so happens to be sheep, this will be your favorite place! (fun fact) There are more sheep here than any other country in the world. New Zealand is also known for its world class hiking trails. Some of the best hiking is done in Fiordland National Park. Four of the major tracks are Milford, Kepler, Routeburn, and Hollyford with forested valleys, diverse birdlife, turquoise lakes, and truly spectacular sceneries.
For Lord of the Rings fans, a visit to Tongariro National Park is a must. The Lord of the Rings was filmed entirely in New Zealand because it truly does feel like another world. While you are here, if the weather cooperates, you will be able to see the view of Mt. Ngauruhoe. If you and your crew are up for a good trek, hiking the Alpine Crossing trail takes about seven hours on average, and it’s 19.4 kilometers. It includes lava field, meadows, and geothermal neon turquoise Emerald Lakes.
New Zealand also has a hike along some of the most beautiful beaches. Along the Otago Coast, you can find some Moeraki Boulders formed from ancient sea sediments. This hike is along the Abel Tasman Coast Track on the south island. Over 40 KM of golden sand beaches and granite cliffs, clear waters, and frolicking fur seals basking in the sun. To top it off with extra adventure, this hike needs to be timed for low tide or the trail will turn into the ocean, so plan accordingly.
What to do in New Zealand?
- Cave diving – rappelling down and ziplining through the hidden abyss of Waitomo Caves in the North Island offers amazing views.
- Jetboat Rides – jetboating through Queenstown Shotover River is one of the most exhilarating ways to experience the scenery of Queenstown.
- Whitewater Rafting – Raft off of Tutea Falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, and experience the ride of a lifetime.
- Bungee jumping – Queenstown New Zealand is home to the very first commercial bungee jump by A.J. Hackett, so you can say they know how to do it right.
- Skiing – With so much to offer, it only gets better with skiing & snowboarding. Ski or board at Queenstown, Coronet Peak, and The Remarkables, all within 30 minutes of downtown.
- Surfing – catch the surf at The Bay of Plenty, Whangamata, or the untouched beaches of Gisborne.
It was a hard decision, yet it is still pretty clear to us that New Zealand takes the number one spot for the battle of the top five destinations for Adventure Travel!