Thank you so much to Olivia Daly for this guest post!
Everyone loves a good vacation. Travelling to new places, meeting interesting people and experiencing different cultures feature in most modern-day bucket lists. But for some, this is not enough. Inner city trips and food markets will not cut it for fans of high-octane pursuits. And there are many, as adventure tourism is the fastest growing travel niche. It is for those people that this list is written, with three suggestions for activities guaranteed to get the blood rushing and the adrenaline coursing.
Swimming in the Cenotes of Mexico
Just below the surface of the Yucatan Peninsula lurks a hidden subterranean world; hundreds of kilometers of underwater tunnels, accessible via a series of cenotes, a derivation of the Mayan word dzonot meaning “well”. For hundreds of years they served as an important feature for the local population and have since become a major hot spot for thrill-seekers.
Supporting a vibrant ecosystem of marine life and featuring some spots that have not yet been explored, it offers a scaling level of experience for thrill-seekers, with guided tours for some of the more established systems. Cost is not necessarily a limitation either – one of the most popular sites, Cenote Oxmal, near the town of Valladolid, is accessible with a small fee and offers some truly otherworldly sights at the bottom of its 67-meter depths.
Boarding down a Volcano in Nicaragua
For anyone looking to inject a healthy dose of hair-raising into their summer vacation, then there is no better option than this. The premise is simple. A group of people gather at the base of an active volcano and they strap boards to their back, safety gear to their bodies, and start to hike for almost an hour to the summit. Having reached the top, they then proceed to sit on the boards and slide down the aforementioned volcano. A relatively simple concept, no?
But despite the primordial threats, the experience is one which is not to be missed – hiking through the splendid Nicaraguan countryside then hurtling down a slope at terrifying speeds before coming to a stop at the base, where lunch cooked by the heat of the volcano awaits. The trip itself is managed by a team of experts, there to mitigate any risks without sacrificing the fun of it. For those of us who hanker for this world’s rarer thrills, what could be better?
Surfing in New South Wales
Australia’s beaches are the envy of the rest of the world, and the waters surrounding them a veritable mecca for surfers of all stripes. Of those, Byron Bay is consistently ranked among the best sites in the world, with a variety of waves to suit all levels of experience. And while the region is a hot spot for competitions, the atmosphere in the Bay has always been one of inclusion. Anyone, regardless of whether they’re a novice or a pro, can try their hand at the sport. Other top surfing spots in Australia include Copacabana Beach, Redbill Beach, Waitpinga Beach and Dicky Beach.
Hold crap, boarding downa volcano! That sounds terrifying to me! I wish I was a brave traveller but I’m just not, and over the years I’ve learnt to do things I enjoy rather than pushing myself to do those OMG moments that so many people have on holiday. What an experience though – I can imagine the rush!
Learning to do the things you enjoy is amazing, good for you!