17 Expert Adventure Travelers Pick Their Best Destinations For 2020
Looking back over the eight amazing years my wife and that I am running our ecotourism/conservation blog, Green Global Adventure Travel, I’ve come to understand that adventure is everywhere if only you recognize what to seem for.
From our very first trip together (to Hawaii’s Big Island) and therefore the Galapagos Islands trip that established our website in 2011 to our three-week safari in Kenya this summer, the adventures we’ve appropriated the years have brought our family closer together, expanded our Weltanschauung , and kept us feeling younger and more vibrant.
These are just a couple of the various benefits of active adventure travel. Whether you favor “soft adventures” like birdwatching, hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking, or more extreme activities like multi-day trekking, climbing, or bungee jumping, the adventure gets you outside in nature and gets your adrenaline pumping.
Here, we’ve enlisted 20 of the world’s most experienced adventure travelers – including the award-winning Canadian couple behind ThePlanetD, America’s “Expert Vagabond” Mathew Karsten, and therefore the Aussie team referred to as NOMADasaurus – to share their picks for the highest adventure destinations for 2019.
From Antarctica and Madagascar to Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, you’ll find many the planet’s coolest places to feature to your own world adventure travel bucket list… –Bret Love
Antarctica is one among those rare Adventure Travel Destinations where the destination is that the adventure in and of itself. From the minute you start crossing the world’s most treacherous sea to your last iceberg sighting, you’ll desire the intrepid explorers. Fortunately, lately the journey of cruising to the planet’s southernmost continent generally comes with a lot of luxury.
One of the last relatively untouched destinations on Earth, Antarctica’s ecosystem remains remarkably pristine. You’ll sail past spectacular glacial lagoons, kayak around dramatic icebergs, and observe incredible wildlife that has breaching whales, penguin colonies, and deep-diving seals.
You may have an opportunity to trek across glaciers and visit research project bases. except for those that consider themselves truly adventurous, the polar plunge into sub-freezing waters may be a right of passage for travelers. If you’re feeling bold, pack your bathing suit! -Meg Jerrard of Mapping Megan
Austria is Adventure Travel Destinations known for its alpine ski slopes within the winter and rolling green hills and mountain trails for hiking within the warmer months. But when two-thirds of the country is blanketed in snow, there’s many ground for adventure activities that you simply won’t realize .
Beyond skiing and snowboarding, you’ll also carve the snow via a fat bike or Segway, or snowshoe your way round the valley fringes. For adventure travelers feeling a requirement for speed, you’ll toboggan down a mountainside. Or, if you would like a more physically challenging extreme adventure, climb a frozen wall.
Warmer months uncover countless deep, rocky caverns that are perfect for canyoning, forests fit climbing parks and zip lines, and fast-flowing rivers awaiting whitewater rafters. you’ll rise up high and combat a bridge bungee jump, clamber a mountain region on a Via Ferrara route, or fancy the skies by paragliding over verdant valleys. -Becki Enright of Borders of Adventure
BELIZE is Adventure Travel Destinations With a world-famous reef, stunning coastlines, thick jungle, and an array of wildlife, Belize offers tons of outside adventure opportunities. better of all, the relatively small Central American country allows you to experience the simplest of everything on even a brief trip.
The highlight is undoubtedly the Belize coral reef , the second-largest reef system within the world. It stretches for 300 kilometers just off the coastline and is straightforward to succeed in for diving or snorkeling from popular tourist towns like Placencia and San Pedro.
The jungles of Belize offer more active adventures, whether it’s exploring ancient Mayan ruins or climbing through caves. the foremost popular of those is that the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, which has Mayan skeletons and ceramics inside. But at less-visited places like Tiger Cave near Punta Gorda, you’re almost bound to get on your own.
For true thrill-seekers, there are other great options like zip-lining, rappelling down waterfalls, or an animal safari. Plus, they’re all made better by the gorgeous jungle and coast that function as the backdrop! -Michael Turtle of your time Adventure Travel Turtle
Canada is one of the best countries for adventure travel on earth. The world’s second-largest country by landmass, with a population of only 36 million, it’s an area where you’ll truly get off the beaten path. But once you choose your adventure, you want to choose wisely, because Canada is huge!
From walking with polar bears in Manitoba to spying grizzlies in British Colombia, to canoeing in an isolated lake to identify moose in Alberta, the country has a number of the simplest wildlife encounters you’ll ever see.
Canada also has the second-longest coastline on the earth, to not mention the very best number of freshwater lakes and rivers, which makes it a paddler’s dream. There are countless epic coastal adventures that are totally unique to Canada, like rafting the world’s highest tides or kayaking with Beluga whales.
From the Rockies to the Appalachians, there are summer and winter adventures to be found from coast to coast. If you would like to ascertain it all, try crossing the TransCanada Trail – the longest recreational trail on Earth – which weaves approximately 15,000 miles through the good White North. -Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil of ThePlanetD
Sandwiched is one of the best Adventure Travel Destinations between the majestic Andes Mountains and therefore the Pacific , Chile could also be a thin country but its extreme landscapes pack one heck of a punch.
Fancy a multi-day trek around stunning teal lakes, glaciers, and vertical peaks? Head to Patagonia and explore the Torres del Paine park . Want to desire you’ve landed on the moon? Get yourself to the Atacama Desert and knowledge otherworldly salt-flats, erupting geysers, and a billion-star sky.
Chile has numerous volcanoes, so little time… Of the five hundred volcanic peaks that grace the country, Villarica offers a summit that’s accessible for even non-Sir Hillary types. Plus, the geothermal Pucon Hot Springs (which is found nearby) will reward your tired mountaineering muscles later.
As you near your final flight out of Santiago, you furthermore may come closer to the guts of Chile’s world-renowned wine country. you’ll cycle from vineyard to vineyard through the Maipo Valley and lift your glass of Carmenere to at least one of the best adventure travel destinations South America has got to offer. -Mike & Anne Howard of HoneyTrek
6. COSTA RICA
Costa Rica ticks all the journey of Adventure Travel boxes, especially for family travelers. The Central American country is remarkably rich in natural wealth – containing nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity – and remains deeply committed to preserving it.
Costa Rica protects an excellent mixture of ecosystems, animals, and ways for adventure-lovers of all ages to enjoy them. Water lovers have surfing schools and straightforward kayaking on both flanking oceans, low-stress rafting on pristine rivers, and relaxing in natural hot springs. Adults and older kids can Scuba dive off Caño Island, which is found just 40 minutes by boat off the Osa Peninsula.
Landlubbers have 28 national parks crisscrossed by kid-friendly hiking trails that are bustling with numerous species of monkeys, two sorts of sloths, giant iguanas and anteaters, and a dizzying array of dazzling birds (toucans!). Ziplines and canopy walk allows visitors to urge even closer to the fauna, and deliver different levels of adrenaline rush.
My favorite family-ready regions include Manuel Antonio park and its adjacent beach, the world around Arenal Volcano, and therefore the southern Caribbean coast at Cahuita. -Ethan Gelber of The Adventure Travel Word
7. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
“You will see more wildlife in eight minutes underwater within the Galapagos than in eight hours ashore ,” said my naturalist guide as I placed on my mask. This is also a great Adventure Travel Destinations
Within just a couple of minutes of snorkeling near Devil’s Crown, an extinct collapsed volcanic cone within the ocean near Floreana Island, I witnessed a gorgeous spotted ray gently “flying” underwater above lavender and green coral reefs. an enormous marine turtle , a reasonably chocolate chip starfish, and a couple of white-tip reef sharks cruised the reef as sea lions and vibrant fish swim around me near the surface. it had been pure magic!
Located within the Pacific approximately 600 miles west of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are heaven on earth for animal lovers and outdoor adventurers.
From sunbathing Galapagos sea lions on the beach at Gardner Bay and blue-footed boobies and waved albatrosses on the rocks of Española to wise old Galapagos tortoises within the highlands of Santa Cruz, there’s little question that exploring these enchanted isles by both land and sea yields many other-worldly wonders. –Lavanya Sunkara of Nature Traveler
After decades of flying under the radar, Greenland is slowly getting more recognition for being a top adventure travel destination – a reputation it completely deserves. The Arctic country ticks all the proper boxes, offering a singular and interesting indigenous culture, vast untouched landscapes, and many of outside activities to enjoy.
Whether you would like to sea kayak among icebergs within the Southern Fjords, hike past herds of reindeer on the famous Arctic Circle Trail, or go all-in and ski across the ice cap itself, you’ll come away with more photos and stories than you’ll know what to try to to with!
While more people are visiting Greenland, there’s still many opportunities for adventure travelers who want in-depth exploration. -Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond
Traveling in Guatemala, with the chicken buses speeding along narrow mountain roads, are often a fantastic adventure in and of itself. But, in terms of adventure travel activities, the country has plenty on offer.
Tops on the list would be scaling one among the country’s 30 volcanoes, which may be anything from an hour hike up Volcan Pacaya to overnight camping near the summit of Acatenango. Rio Dulce, which leads bent the Caribbean , offers great kayaking, with many wildlife to identify along the way.
El Paredon, on the Pacific Coast , has steady tides rolling onto black sand beaches, and it’s become the country’s premier surf spot. Mountain biking trails are often found everywhere the place. El Mirador may be a multiple-day hike to jungle-clad Mayan ruins, which surpasses even Tikal because the biggest within the country.
Lake Atitlan, which is usually considered the foremost beautiful lake within the world, offers high-altitude skin diving. and that we haven’t even gotten into the country’s cultural sites, festivals, or other natural wonders… -Jonathon Engels of A Life About
Iceland may be a country that’s practically tailor-made for adventure travel. Most mainstream tourists head straight for a few of Iceland’s most world-renowned sites along the increasingly popular “Golden Circle.”
But even when mass tourism threatens to overwhelm the destination (primarily in peak summer season), there are still many wide-open spaces where you’ll desire you’re on their lonesome within the land of fireside and ice.
Don’t miss the incredible opportunity to snorkel between the North American and European continents in a number of the clearest water within the world! -Jennifer Dombrowski & Tim Davis of Luxe Adventure Traveler
Since my first days in India, I’ve found it to be the land of incredible adventure travel. At first, it had been simply the journey of navigating a replacement (and very different) culture. Over time, I’ve experienced many sorts of adventures in India, from trekking within the foothills of the Himalayas to wildlife safaris within the heart of tiger country.
India offers intrepid adventurers almost every sort of geography you’ll consider , from the snow-capped peaks of the north to the arid deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, from the luxurious , tropical jungles of Madhya Pradesh to the beaches and backwaters of Kerala. altogether of those locations, you’ll find adventure nearly everywhere you switch .
Several of the North Indian states – especially Ladakh is one of the best Adventure Travel Destinations , Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand – are prime outdoor recreation destinations. Here, you’ll find many options for activities like trekking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, and birdwatching. In winter, Ladakh is home to the Chadar Trek on the frozen Zanskar River, which is claimed to be one among the toughest hiking challenges on Earth.
Wildlife safaris are another great option in India, which is home to about 70% of the world’s wild tigers. While there are about 50 tiger reserves in India, I like to recommend those in Madhya Pradesh, especially Kanha park and Bandhavgarh park. These parks are so abundant in wildlife– including many rare species and a fantastic sort of birds– that even without seeing a tiger, you’ll feel satisfied by the immersion in natural beauty and therefore the thrill of the chase. -Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo
The ultimate destination for adventure travel, Kyrgyzstan may be a country of diversity. the right trip to the present emerging Central Asian hotspot will involve a visit to the busy capital of Bishkek, which is your hopping off point to the country.
Your next stop should be Karakol, where you’ve got direct access to the stunning Tian Shan Mountains. This area offers a number of the simplest mountain biking within the world, from low valley paths to multi-day treks that take you up and over mountain passes, camping along the way.
Moving onto Jyrgalan, you’ll still enjoy great hiking or choose something different by taking a horseback trek. As a nomadic culture, the Kyrgyz people have strong bonds with their horses. So spending a while on a horse with them is that the perfect thanks to both adventure and connect with the indigenous culture.
Culture seekers also will have the pleasure of meeting the proud eagle hunters during an indication on the south shore of Issyk Kul Lake or maybe absorb an intense game of Kok Boru. regardless of your adventure style, Kyrgyzstan delivers on a scale you will find hard to match elsewhere. –Lina & David Stock of Divergent Travelers
Madagascar may be a great choice for adventure travelers who want to mix adventure with nature. The East African island’s Andasibe Mantadia and Ranomafana National Parks are an excellent place to start out .
Cars and bikes aren’t allowed there, therefore the only thanks to explore them is on foot, which suggests you’ll see far more since you’re exploring slowly. Hiking trails range from 45 minutes to full-day circuits, offering something for everybody . You’ll search the forests for chameleons, frogs, and lemurs, which rank among the rarest and most endangered primates on the earth .
Madagascar isn’t only about lemurs, though. one among the foremost bizarre geological formations I’ve ever seen is Tsingy – razor-sharp limestone formations that rise sharply from the bottom . The name “Tsingy” comes from the Malagasy language, and appropriately translates as “the place where you can’t walk barefoot.”
You’ll carefully scramble through and round the rocks until you reach a viewpoint where you discover yourself surrounded by Tsingy, feeling like you’re a personality during a Dr. Seuss book. There are several places where you’ll explore these formations, including Tsingy de Bemaraha park , which may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. -Laurel Robbins of Monkeys and Mountains
Though it’s going to be better known for its rich traditional cultures, Morocco may be a fantastic adventure travel destination because there are numerous different options available!
Head to the north of the country to scuba dive within the Mediterranean, or hike the paths of the Rif and Middle Atlas Mountains . Swing down across the Atlantic Coast of western Morocco, where surfing and kite surfing reign because the supreme adventure activities.
As you venture inland, prepare your hiking gear to scale the country’s gorges before taking a rather tamer adventure, trekking on the rear of a camel exploring the Sahara .
Fortunately for us “soft adventure” types, not all the activities here are so hardcore. You’ll find hiking, bird watching, and cultural adventures available throughout the country. Morocco really does have something for everybody . -Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki of MarocMama
Despite Namibia’s unforgiving (yet stunning) desert landscape, outdoor adventure travel is straightforward to seek out .
Along the Skeleton Coast in Damaraland, guests of Desert Rhino Safari Camp are ready to track, view, and photograph members of the most important free-roaming population of black rhino within the world… on foot. some of the excursion fee is donated to support research and conservation initiatives.
Further north, near the Angolan border within the pristine wilderness of the Kaokoveld, travelers can visit the Himba villages within the area. This indigenous, semi-nomadic tribe may be a fascinating throwback to yesteryear, and lots of still live as their ancestors did centuries ago.
In the south, intrepid adventurers tavel are challenged to climb the shifting sands of the epic, pumpkin-colored dunes in Sossusvlei, a number of which top out at nearly thousand feet tall. And within the east, Etosha’s famed watering holes draw an abundance of African wildlife, delivering hours of spectacular interactions. –Susan Portnoy of The Insatiable Traveler
16. NEW ZEALAND
If you had to style the last word destination for adventure travel from scratch, you’d be hard-pressed to return up with a far better place than New Zealand.
Home to a fantastic array of epic landscapes, from beaches and glaciers to mountain peaks and old-growth forests, every corner of the island nation offers an enormous sort of ways to urge your adrenaline pumping.
This is the birthplace of bungee jumping, to not mention the Southern Hemisphere’s hotspot for snow sports. And if you’re keen on being outdoors, hiking in New Zealand is heralded as being a number of the simplest within the world. If you favor to stay to the water, the country also has some truly amazing sea kayaking spots, allowing you to urge into hidden fjords and personal beaches.
To make the foremost out of latest Zealand, all you would like may be a true sense of adventure travel and a willingness to urge outside at every opportunity. -Jarryd and Alesha of NOMADasaurus
Slovenia is our favourite country for adventure travel because it’s a various land crammed with mountains, coastlines, caves, and rolling hills.
Triglav park and therefore the surrounding region in northwest Slovenia is home to the very best peak within the Julian Alps, Lake Bohinj, Lake Bled, the Soča River, and more waterfalls than you’ll count. There’s an endless array of hiking, hiking , and biking routes to be explored throughout the country.
You can stand-up paddleboard through the clear, peaceful glacial waters of Lake Bohinj or try your hand at foam kayaking down the wild Soča River. For an aerial view, escape the sting of the 1,682-meter-high Mount Vogel, and paraglide your way backtrack to earth.
Another thrilling adventure found throughout the country is canyoning, which involves rappelling, sliding, and cliff-jumping your way through a deep canyon. There truly is not any shortage of adventurous pursuits to be found! -Jenna Kvidt of Wander The Map