Adrenaline-Inducing Adventure Destinations

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Sometimes you’ve got to shake it up – death-defying activities can do that (especially if they’re perfectly safe and overlooked by qualified instructors). These destinations are known worldwide for the boundary-pushing fun they offer. So, get off that beach towel, put down your cocktail and do something you’ve never done before. Your heart could use a workout.

1. Skydiving in Queenstown, New Zealand

It’s probably the most-listed superhero power everyone wants. We envy the birds, the bees and the butterflies – it’s all about flying and we can’t help but wish we had wings. Next best thing? Free-flying through the air after jumping out of a plane, which is flying up to 15,000 feet in the air. Minus the leg-buckling fear, it’s probably the best feeling you’ll ever have (until you feel the relief of the parachute billowing out above your head). And if you’re jumping from a plane, you’d better have a good vista to get you through the fear. That’s why everyone opts for Queenstown. You’ll never find a view of its stunning landscapes like this again. Rather bungy jump? Queentown’s got you covered there too.

2. Dune bashing in Dubai, UAE

Leave the excess of the glittering skyscrapers and mammoth malls behind – your adventure lies in the deserts of Dubai. Strap yourself into a 4×4 and speed down the steep dunes of this sandy city. Your stomach will do flips and turns as you navigate weird angles, zooming up and down sand dunes, as showers of sand blot out your view through the window. Take a break and grab a sandboard and shoot down the dunes on your own two legs or try a spot of quad biking – the desert is your playground. Finish it off with a barbecue and dance underneath the unerringly bright desert stars and you’ll sleep happy.

3. Shark diving in Cape Town, South Africa

Shun normal reactions and go looking for that dreaded dorsal fin slicing through choppy waves. Shark diving is not for the faint-hearted (or for those who want more than a cage in between them and an alarmingly large and toothy Great White). But adrenaline-inducing it most certainly is. Tourists have flown in droves to Cape Town’s infamous oceans for a chance to submerge themselves in this predators’ habitat. You’re in the presence of the ocean’s top-of-the-food chain – it’s a breathtaking experience, in every sense of the word.

4. Flyboarding in Costa Adeje, Tenerife

Discover your inner Ironman and flyboard above the water in Tenerife. It can be tricky to get the hang of it but once you’re airborne, it’s like no other feeling in the world. Jet packs are attached to your back or feet, shooting you up to 30 feet into the air, and you can even tilt it and swim through the sea at a speed you’ve never experienced. You can control the height and speed of which you travel, letting timid adventurers take it easy while others go wild. Flyboards at the ready.

Lledo /


5. River tubing in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Grab hold of a bright inflatable tube and float, drop and splash your way down the rapids of River Bueno in Jamaica. You’ll pass overgrown jungle landscapes which are home to countless creatures and critters. You can stop off and swing from ropes or go for a swim until you reach the white-sand shores of Bengal Bay. It’s a day of sunbathing with a twist.

6. Climbing in Sydney, Australia

Leave it to the Australians to take sight-seeing to the next extreme. Climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is well-worth the rigour. There’s no standing around on this tour – you’ll learn about the history of the bridge as you climb upwards, attached to a harness. Know this: once you’re at the top, and 134 metres above sea level, the uninterrupted panoramas of the city and surrounds will make it hard to ever go back down.

7. Rollercoasters in Portaventura, Spain

It’s a safe bet that the tallest rollercoaster in Europe will get your heart pumping. Shambhala took things to new heights in 2012 and has been delighting (or frightening) ever since. Travel up as fast as you travel down, zip through dark tunnels and mountain lakes and basically choose which person you are in this life: an eyes-closed screamer or a hands-in-the-air whooper.

Andrei Ruchkin /


8. White-water rafting in San Jose, Costa Rica

White-water rafting consists of a rubber dinghy, a handful of friends, a guide and a helmet and a life jacket. But that in no way sums up just how much fun you’ll have navigating the much-lauded rapids of Costa Rica. And let’s not forget all the amazing wildlife you get a (wet) front-seat to: crocodiles, lizards, parrots, toucans, herons, kingfishers and iguanas, to name a few. Safaris don’t have to be limited to drive-throughs.

9. Racing in Las Vegas, Nevada

Do your best James Bond impression and get behind the wheel of some of the most luxurious (not to mention fast!) cars in Las Vegas. With the roar of this impossibly high-tech engine in your ears, speed around the track in a Ferrari, skid around corners in a Lamborghini or speed over the finish line in a Porsche – the choice is yours! You’ll never want to drive anything else again.

Wollertz /


10. Paragliding in Olu Deniz, Turkey

Turkey isn’t just about beachside cocktails. Its lush countryside, white sandy shores and cobalt waters can only truly be appreciated from a bird’s eye view and luckily that isn’t impossible in Olu Deniz. Paraglide off an impossibly steep cliff (that’s where the adrenaline comes in) and then float past fluffy white clouds, with the whole of the sparkling shoreline and evergreen landscapes spread out before you. It’ll be the most relaxing mode of flying you’ll ever experience.