7 Heart-Pounding Adventures for Adrenaline Junkies
May 22, 2019
If you consider yourself the adventurous type, you may think you’ve done it all. Sky diving, paragliding, white water rafting, scuba diving…once you’ve checked these edge-of-your-seat activities off your bucket list, how can you get your heart racing? Don’t worry, adrenaline junkies—we’ve rounded up seven next-level experiences from every corner of the globe that will satisfy even the most seasoned adventure seekers. Warning: this list is definitely not for the faint of heart.
1. Shark Cage Diving
For most of us, just the thought of a Great White Shark brings to mind that famous warning from Jaws: “Stay out of the water.” But for adrenaline junkies, there’s a certain appeal to getting up close and personal with the ocean’s most notorious predators. If you want to go face-to-face with Great Whites, consider signing up for a shark cage dive, where you’ll be separated from those rows of pearly whites by just a few metal bars. So, where can you take the plunge?
Mossel Bay, on the South African coast near Cape Town, is probably the most famous place in the world to have a one-of-a-kind shark experience. Closer to home, you can cozy up with Great Whites off the coast of Baja California, courtesy of Great White Adventures.
2. Volcano Surfing
When you think of a volcano, a few things probably come to mind. Rivers of hot lava, clouds of ash and smoke, fields of craggy black rock and…surfing? That last item might sound surprising, but not if you’re planning a visit to Leon, Nicaragua. There, the slopes of the Cerro Negro volcano are coated in a layer of loosely packed volcanic sand, creating the perfect surface for “surfing” with the help of a wooden plank.
According to outfitters at Bigfoot Boarding, you’ll reach speeds of up to 95km/hr on your way down the 2,400-foot slopes of Cerro Negro. But that’s not the only thing that will get your pulse pounding—the volcano, which first emerged in 1850, is still active.
3. Ascending Mount Hua
You’ve likely seen a few viral photos of China’s Mount Hua ascent, also known as the “Plank Road in the Sky.” If you haven’t, picture this: a precarious hiking route that climbs 7,000 feet up the bare rock faces of a towering mountain, which requires you to navigate a series of narrow wooden planks, metal rods, and steps cut directly into the stone. In most places, the plank path is so narrow that two hikers can’t pass. Add in wildly variable weather, and you’ve got a nail-biting excursion that many people have called the most dangerous hike in the world.
The treacherous trail up Mount Hua has been used for thousands of years, since it was first built by monks and religious pilgrims. If you make it to the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and a chance to explore the Taoist temples and pavilions scattered throughout the landscape. But don’t forget—you’ll still have to face the hike back down!
4. Biking Bolivia’s Death Road
Any place with the name “Death Road” is definitely not a destination for cautious types—but it might be perfect if you’re seeking a white-knuckled mountain biking experience. Located in Bolivia, the Death Road is formally known as the North Yungas Road, a perilous mountain route connecting the capital city of La Paz with the town of Coroico that has become popular with extreme sports enthusiasts.
If you’re brave enough to traverse the Death Road’s 43-mile span by bike, expect a rugged route filled with switchbacks, sheer cliffs, hairpin turns, vision-obscuring fogs, and landslides. For these reasons, and because the road has earned its frightening reputation due to hundreds of fatalities over the years, most adventurers choose to take on the trek with an experienced tour company.
5. Whitewater Rafting the Zambezi
There are lots of adventurous options if you’re planning a visit to Africa’s Zambezi River. You can wade into the Devil’s Pool for a vertigo-inducing look over the edge of Victoria Falls, bungee jump from the towering Victoria Falls Bridge, or soar over the landscape in a microlight plane. The most exciting option of all, however, might be hopping into a raft for a high-octane journey down the river.
Why is whitewater rafting in the Zambezi so unique? It’s not just the class 5 rapids, or the breathtaking waterfall views. It’s also your neighbors in the water—like hippos and crocodiles. For the wildest ride, plan a trip during high water season, which extends from February to July.
6. Bungee Jumping the Macau Tower
If you consider yourself a thrill seeker, you’ve probably been bungee jumping before. But have you tackled the world’s tallest bungee jump? To cross that item off your bucket list, head to the Macau Tower in China.
This record-setting bungee jump clocks in at a staggering 764 feet, so the extended free-fall is guaranteed to get your heart racing. You can take off from the top of the tower during the day or at night, so plan accordingly based on the view you’d like to see before you take the plunge.
7. H.A.L.O. Sky Diving
Like bungee jumping, skydiving might seem like standard fare for adventure lovers. But that’s only because you haven’t considered H.A.L.O. skydiving. H.A.L.O. is an acronym for High Altitude Low Open, meaning that you’ll jump from a higher-than-normal altitude, and then deploy your parachute much later than you would in a standard skydive. All that adds up to an extended free-fall—and a bigger adrenaline rush.
Lots of skydiving outfits around the world offer H.A.L.O. jumps, but if we could choose anywhere to have this high altitude experience, it would be Hawaii. Skydiving companies in the islands offer jumps that start at up to 24,000 feet, meaning you’ll get almost two minutes of free-fall. Paired with views of Hawaii’s sparkling seas and lush, tropical landscape, it sounds like the perfect adventure.
Written by Caroline Lees for Knockaround.