On a typical vacation, travelers go to a new or favorite place to relax, take in the scenery, and enjoy some good food. They may visit tourist attractions like historical structures, amusement parks, or museums. Some might enjoy local activities like snorkeling, skydiving, or zip lining. However, these experiences pale in comparison to true adventure travel that is the stuff dreams are made of, combining participation with location.
Anyone who enjoys kayaking has not been on a true adventure until kayaking in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. This trip explores the exotic islets and lagoons of areas like Ha Long Bay and travels through a French colonial city in Laos. Once there, kayaks are traded for elephants for a journey through freshwater marshes before embarking on a three-day kayak down the Mekong River into Cambodia. Along the way, travelers see the huge Khone Falls cascade and the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.
A journey to the west means an adventure vacation like a volcano-hopping trip in Nicaragua. Few U.S. travelers have explored this country, making this trip even more special. In Granada, the Spanish colonial city, travelers can climb several volcanoes and even see a live one. They can also visit Isla de Ometepe, known as the largest volcanic island located on a lake. Bull sharks, one of the few freshwater sharks in the world, inhabit the lake waters.
If Rudolph the reindeer is considered a friend, a reindeer packing trip in Sweden should be on the to-do list. Hikers accompany reindeer loaded with expedition gear on a trek across the tundra of Sweden. The path includes travel through UNESCO World Heritage site Laponia, which is north of the Arctic Circle by 100 miles. Visits to several national parks provide travelers with up-close views of mountain fox, moose, and wolverines.
A safari is one of the best forms of adventure travel for those who appreciate exotic wildlife. An Arctic safari through Canada exposes travelers to animals like snow owls, caribou, polar bears, and beluga whales. Travelers even have an opportunity to snorkel with these playful whales in one of the few places in the world that large populations can be seen.
African safaris allow travelers to visit areas like Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Namibia. In Rwanda, travelers spend time tracking native gorillas and a trip to Uganda often includes a stay in the Kibale Forest National Park. This tropical rain forest features the highest density of primates of any place on the planet.