Top 10 Adventure Travel Trips

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey
Pack your bags and set sail for adventure. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Adventure Travel Trips.

For this list, we're looking at awesome adventure travel activities in amazingly varied locations around the world.
Top 10 Adventure Travel Trips

Pack your bags and set sail for adventure. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 adventure travel trips.

For this list, we're looking at awesome adventure travel activities in amazingly varied locations around the world.

#10: Kayaking the Nā Pali Coast

On the northwest side of Kauai, Hawaii’s “Garden Isle”, Nā Pali’s primeval coastal cliffs sweep down to the sea, punctuated by tumbling falls and golden coves. The Kalalau Trail winding through the mountains has been recognized as one of the most incredible - and daring - hikes in the world, but to experience the full, humbling majesty of the coastline, nothing beats staring up from the open water. The paddle can be a challenge in rough weather, but the challenge is worth it for the out-of-this-world views. But if somehow you’re still hungry for ocean-inspired adrenaline, head over to Maui for Kite Beach’s world-class kitesurfing, with conditions suitable for both beginners and seasoned surfers.

#9: Horseback Riding in Patagonia

In these rolling grasslands, cowboys still roam the plains, living icons steeped in legend. Spread across southernmost Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is home to some of the world’s last traditional cowboys and ranchers, although some of the ranches now also cater to tourists. Sure, Buenos Aires might be the “Paris of South America”, and Chile’s diverse landscape of rainforests, glaciers and volcanoes is a must-see; but riding through Patagonia’s larger-than-life landscape with these storied horsemen might just be the most singular and magical experience of them all.

#8: Diving a Shipwreck in the Great Barrier Reef

Exploring Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could easily make this list without any extra attractions. Despite being severely threatened by global warming, It’s the world’s largest living structure, teeming with life and color, and is home to thousands of species of fish and a favored habitat of whales and sea turtles. But throw in the incredibly intact, coral-covered wreck of the SS Yongala, lost at sea over a century ago off Queensland’s north east coast, and you’ve got what’s often called one of the world’s top dives. Giant groupers hover over the seafloor, while manta rays glide overhead and sea turtles wander through silver clouds of fish. You can even take certified PADI diving courses on site - so there’s really no excuse not to get wet.

#7: Sandboarding in the Sahara

You may have tried skateboarding, wakeboarding, and snowboarding, but how about . . . sandboarding? Sandboards can reach speeds of over 50 miles per hour, which might not hold a candle to snowboard speed records, buuuuut is still pretty damn fast. Plus, did we mention it’s on sand? And what better place to pick up the sport than the world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara. You can slide down some of the smoothest, tallest slopes in the Great Sand Sea around the oasis Siwa in northwestern Egypt, or on the giant dunes near Merzouga in southeastern Morocco. After the Sahara, you might also want to tackle the sport in Namibia’s Namib Desert, where the biggest dunes can reach heights of over one thousand feet.

#6: Cage Diving with Great Whites in South Africa

Face your fears up close and personal with the world’s fiercest predator . . . Hey, ironically, that should actually be the tagline to advertise to the sharks, but we all know who’s going to be soiling the seawater in an encounter between one of us and a great white. South Africa has some of the biggest great white sharks in the world, especially concentrated around the all-you-can-eat-shark buffets Seal Island and Geyser Rock. There are few things more instinctually terrifying than being in the water with a great white, so kiss the cage, keep your hands inside at all times, and watch in awe as these apex predators cruise their home turf.

#5: Glacier Hiking in Iceland

Iceland is a nature lover’s paradise, with geysers galore, spectacular waterfalls and, dancing overhead, the haunting Aurora Borealis. But out of all the activities possible in this world of fire and ice, what could be more unique than hiking an ice sheet atop a volcano? Actually, quite a few volcanoes. Although magma chambers simmer beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap and its outlets, it’s one of the greatest places on the planet for guided glacier hikes. Trek across ice fields, crawl into caves, and back down on the coast, and see what becomes of icebergs that break away from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier’s Diamond Beach, before winding down in Iceland’s famous hot springs.

#4: Swimming with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo

We’re featuring sharks twice on this list, but swimming with a whale shark is something else altogether. These gentle giants are actually filter feeders, who aggregate to feed in only a few places around the world. Unfortunately, this also means some of sites have become overcrowded, especially where sharks are fed to keep them interested. But Western Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park, known for pioneering research into whale sharks, offers not only pristine coral reef (with dugong, manta rays, and the occasional humpback whale thrown into the mix), but scrupulous regulations for boats and swimmers. Visit between March and June, when these ponderous beauties are frequent visitors.

#3: Jungle Trekking in the Amazon

It’s the largest rainforest on Earth, a treasure trove of biodiversity, and so dense that some tribes within still remain completely unaware of the outside world. The Amazon Rainforest is one of the wildest, most untamed regions on the planet, and even brief, guided forays into its fringes are memorable adventures. Take a boat up the Amazon, stay in a riverside lodge, and swim in the same water as piranhas and caiman. Keep your eyes peeled for sloths, toucan, and pink dolphins. And if you’re super lucky, you may even spot a kinkajou. But to really test your mettle, consider a multi-week survival course, the most challenging of which also include an isolation phase.

#2: Whitewater Rafting Through the Grand Canyon

We all know it’s a great view from on high. But how about from the bottom, amid the spray of whitewater rapids? Rafting through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River is an iconic whitewater experience, and boasts rapids classes to suit every experience level. As you plunge forward, you’ll be passing millions of years of history written on the rock walls. It’s a trip that’s going to be tough to top . . . but for another completely unique rafting experience, set your sights on the Zambezi below magnificent Victoria Falls, where you’ll share the water with crocodiles and hippos. Just . . . don’t fall out.

Before we reveal the identity of our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

Mountain Biking in Whistler

Dog Sledding in Sweden

Hanging on for Dear Life on a Dune Buggy in Huacachina, Peru

#1: Hiking to Everest Base Camp

You don't have to be Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay to ascend Everest. Well . . . at least to Base Camp. The trek on the Nepalese side is a gruelling two weeks there and back, but worth it for the dizzying views from the roof of the world. Land in Lukla, with its unnerving cliffside runway, and acclimatize in amphitheatrical market town Namche Bazaar, before heading up to Sherpa town Dingboche and on to base camp. It’s a tough hike, over rough terrain at high altitudes, but worth it for the breathtaking, humbling vision of Earth’s mightiest mountain.