If you love adrenaline-fuelled activities, epic adventures, crazy experiences, or just plain fun, then you, my friend, are a certified adrenaline junkie. I have compiled the best adrenaline junkie bucket list to wet your thirst for adventure and inspire your next thrill.
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Adrenaline Junkie Bucket List Contents
Airborne Adrenaline Experiences
If you’re in the market for thrilling experiences, there’s no better adrenaline rush than skydiving.
Tandem skydives are ideal for those who haven’t skydived before. With your back strapped to an experienced instructor, the participant will be placed just above an edge, and then you’ll take off! The free fall will last for 200 feet at a time and last between 30 and 60 seconds, depending on the high point at which you fall. You will be aware of the G force pound your face as you look at the breathtaking views of the landscape while you glide back to earth.
I do not know about you, but my heart beats just contemplating it! If you’re not yet ready to skydive from an aircraft, think about an indoor skydive instead. Either way is exciting but only the true Ariel experience is worthy of your adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Contributed by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within
There’s nothing quite like strapping yourself to the wing of a plane and soaring through the air at 150mph to get your heart racing! The sky is the limit when you try your hand at wing walking, and it provides even the most daring adrenaline junkies with the thrill of a lifetime.
The experience starts with a safety briefing with a professional wing walker and the pilot before being securely strapped in for take-off.
Flights last under 10 minutes and include an exciting series of flypasts, zoom climbs, steep dives, banks, and loop-the-loops if you are up for it!
Friends and family can cheer you on from the ground and get some all-important snaps of you whizzing by, or you can hire a GoPro to be strapped to the plane in front of you so you can relive your g-force face impressions (recommended!).
Having experienced this twice already, I can safely say the stunning aerial views and sense of freedom make the adventure one that I would happily repeat. Certainly an exhilarating addition to your adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Where: Cirencester, Cotswolds UK with Aerosuperbatics
Cost: Starting from £399
Duration: 8-10 minutes in the air, 3 hours for the whole experience
Have you ever put your complete faith in an experienced guide and ran off the top of a mountain? Paragliding is an ultimate adrenaline junkie bucket list activity. The run towards the tip of the mountain is the hardest part, while the rest of the flight you can just sit back, relax and take in the beautiful panoramic scenery.
Don’t relax for too long though, your guide will stir up the excitement with some loops and turns that are as stomach churning as a roller coaster ride. Soar left to right, up and down and be amazed at how your paragliding instructor is able to exercise complete control as you hurtle towards the rock faces.
Where can you do it: Myrtos Beach in Greece, as well as many other worldwide locations.
How much does it cost: approximately 90euros upwards, depending on how long you want the flight to last
How long does it last: the whole experience will take about an hour with approximately 15 – 40 minutes in the air, depending on what option you bought and also the wind conditions of the day.
Adrenaline Activities with a Chill Factor
Contributed by Aimee of Snap Happy Travel
Snowmobiling in Whistler is one of the best activities in Whistler, imagine speeding down wide groomed trails and off-piste into a winter wonderland of snow-covered pine trees. There’s no better place in the world to snowmobile, Whistler Mountain is named time and time again as one of the best ski resorts in the world and the snow levels they receive here every Winter is astounding! Whistler truly is a snow-lovers paradise.
The snowmobile can reach speeds of up to 120km/h so if you’re confident enough you can really get the adrenalin-pumping. Oh, and watch out for bears – although rare to see them in Winter a brown bear may just jump out from its hibernation spot, that on its own is worthy of your adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Where can you do it: Whistler is located a 1.5 hour drive from Vancouver CBD and is easily accessible by bus or alternatively rent a car from Vancouver airport and drive here.
How long does it take: There’s a snowmobiling tour available for everybody from the 2-hour beginner tour to the more extreme 3-hour tour which also includes lunch at a cute cabin.
How much does it cost: Snowmobiling in Whistler costs from $185 USD per person.
Contributed by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler
One of the best things for adrenaline junkies is to take a polar plunge in Antarctica. In some of the coldest water in the world, only the brave will dare to drop into the iceberg-infused water. It’s also the closest you’ll ever feel to being a penguin.
There are typically two types of polar plunges, one where you can jump off of the boat and cannonball into the water, or you can walk in the water from on land. Either way, if you have the guts to go in, you’ll have bragging rights for the rest of your life! Unfortunately, only 10,000 people visit Antarctica yearly, and only a fraction of them take a dip in the water.
Where you can do it: Variety of landing locations in Antarctica, all-weather dependent
Cost of activity: Free
Duration of Activity: You’re not allowed to spend more than 90 seconds in the water due to health concerns
Contributed by Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
If you plan a trip to Iceland and look for exhilarating experiences, you should try ice climbing. The reason is that Ice Climbing is one of the best activities in the land of fire and Ice with tons of fun, adventure, and adrenaline, and a must-do for any adventure traveler.
You will need to hire one of the local tour operators to go on an Ice Climbing Tour in Iceland because it is not safe to go on these activities on your own, as the glaciers are constantly moving and transforming. At any moment, new cracks and holes appear, and after some snow, they can become deadly traps for anyone without experience in this environment. Plus, you will need permits and all safety gear, but they provide it all when you go with certified guides.
Where can you do it: The best place to go ice climbing in Iceland is at the Sólheimajökull Glacier; it is only 2-hours driving from Reykjavik, making it a very convenient location. You don’t need a 4×4 to get there; a cheap car rental is enough. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can ask for transport for a reasonable price when you book your tour.
How much does it cost: The prices vary from US$80 up to US$300, depending on the length of your tour.
How long does it take: You can choose to go on a short version of 3-hours up to 12-hours, including glacier hikes, ice caves, and even waterfalls and the glacier lagoon.
Helicopter landing on a Glacier
Contributed by Holly from Globeblogging
While it may not be as well-known as the other glaciers on the South Island of New Zealand, the Tasman Glacier is the biggest on the island at a staggering 27 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide. It also happens to be at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook.
When the conditions are right, you can take a helicopter into the clouds past Mount Cook’s summit and appreciate the Glacier’s size from above. The pilot will then bring the helicopter gently to rest upon the white snow on top of the Glacier. Take a moment to enjoy the alpine scenery as your feet compact the snow on the Glacier all year round. An experience that belongs on every adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Where can you do it: Inflite Helicopters depart from Mount Cook Airport on Mount Cook Road.
How much does it cost: Prices start at NZ$299 for a 25-minute flight, up to NZ$599. You can also incorporate a ride on a Seaplane into the experience. So don’t be put off by the price, this was one of the best experiences of my life!
How long does it take: The flight is 55-minutes.
Sarah from A Social Nomad
Skiing used to be described as throwing yourself off the top of a mountain with two planks of wood strapped to your feet and going for it. Skis have evolved significantly since then, but the adrenalin rush you get from tackling a downhill slope is still the same. Skiing works core muscles to help improve balance and posture and increase your overall body strength, but it can also be incredibly fun and exciting.
There are many types of skiing, but the most recognized sport is that of downhill skiing – where you slide, or glide, down snow-covered hills with your ski boots attached into fixed-heel bindings is an incredible way to experience the great outdoors. You’ll take a gondola or a ski lift to the top of the mountain and then work your way back down.
Ski runs can be flat terrain but with a downhill slope, or they can have bumps in them – moguls – which makes life a lot more exciting. All ski resorts have a variety of ski runs for different skiers’ capabilities. The ultimate ski adrenaline is either skiing off-piste (off the managed trails) or heli-skiing – where a helicopter takes you to places you can’t reach by lifts, and you ski back to “civilization.”
Where can you do it: Organized downhill skiing (with facilities) takes place in ski resorts – some of the most famous in North America are Whistler, Big White, Tahoe, and Breckenridge. In Europe, the French and Italian Alps are popular and so too is Bansko, Bulgaria – Europe’s cheapest place to ski.
How much does it cost: Bansko ski resorts cost 35 euros for a day pass for the mountain. If you don’t have your own skis, boots, and poles, add another 45 euros per day.
How long does it take: Although most people take a week or more ski vacations, most recreational skiers dream of taking an entire season to ski. Or off-piste skiing. Or heli-skiing. Or both.
Dog Sledding in Tromso
Contributed by Niels Thomas from Tromso Dog Sledding
What are you doing for your next vacation? Are you ready to cross off another great adventure on your bucket list? If so, why not try the thrill of an authentic dog sledding tour in the beautiful Norwegian mountains and fjords of Tromso.
Dog sledding is a tradition in Norway and one of the oldest forms of transportation amongst the snowy landscapes. You don’t need any experience, and the guides will walk you through everything you need to know about getting out on the snow with your huskies!
Where can you do it: Tromso, Norway.
How long does it take: A tour lasts around 4 hours, but you can even make a full day camping trip together with your new furry friends.
How much does it cost: Tour prices range between 200USD up to 400 USD depending on what kind of package you take. Of course, the hugs from the husky puppies are included!
Adrenaline Activities on Land
Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
Contributed by Mel from Mel on the Go
Boarding down an active volcano is such a fun adventure it belongs on any adrenaline junkie bucket list!
Cerro Negro in northwestern Nicaragua is one of the few places in the world where you can safely try the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Choose among multiple tour operators in the entertaining city of León; all will provide a guide, gear, instruction, and transport.
The gear includes a thick wooden board with a sheet of metal on the bottom, a hand-held brake, a coverall suit, and a face covering.
Once at the park, you’ll hike up the black sand and pebbles to the top of the boarding hill. It’s a little effort with gorgeous views and an awesome payoff! While you’re gearing up, you can watch other boarders for reference; most simply sit on the board, but surfers and snowboarders like to try standing up. You can control your speed, but this is an adventure, so do what you want! Enjoy!
Where can you do it: Cerro Negro in northwestern Nicaragua.
How much does is cost: A group tour costs about $20.
How long does it take: The whole trip takes a few hours, including the trip to the park, an hour hike up the slippery slope carrying your board, and the highlight: the steep and exhilarating ride down.
Canyoning / Canyoneering
Edyta from SayYesToMadeira.com
Canyoning (or: canyoneering) is an activity that consists of traveling in canyons/exploring a stream using a variety of techniques such as hiking, jumping off waterfalls, rock climbing, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming. You do it wearing a special wetsuit and a helmet. Canyoning is a great activity to add to your adrenaline junkie bucket list. Not only is it fun and a great adventure, but it also equips you with new skill levels, and it expands your comfort zone. Most of all, however, it helps you to discover hard-to-reach and untouched spots in nature, where you won’t see crowds of tourists, such as canyons and beautiful waterfalls. Canyoning often requires navigational skills.
How much does it cost: Beginner tours start at around €60.
Where can you do it: Canyoning is one of the many great adrenaline-loaded activities you can try in many countries. One great location, though, is Madeira Island in Portugal. It is possible to try canyoning in different areas around the island, such as Ribeira das Cales, Ribeiro Frio, or Ribeira do Inferno, making Madeira a destination catering to both beginners as well as advanced canyoning fans. In addition, there are multiple tour operators on the island, letting you book beginner, intermediate, and advanced canyoning tours with a certified guide.
Most adrenaline junkies will have experienced go-karting at least once. However, have you ever had the thrill of plummeting down the UK’s only mountain go-kart track with nothing more than gravity and brakes? At Zip World in Penrhyn Quarry, North Wales, you will get to experience just that. Tackle the sharp corners, chicanes, and tunnels and make it to the bottom of the mountain in one piece.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Jump on the truck for another rocky off-road adventure to the top and do it all over again. The second time is always the best as this is your opportunity to accelerate that little faster, be that little bit more daring and get a kick-ass dose of adrenaline. You’ll be enjoying yourself so much, and you’ll almost miss the stunning scenery of the Welsh mountains. Mountain go-karting is certainly worthy of your adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Fastest Zip Line in the World
You can go Ziplining across the globe in many unique and beautiful surroundings. From the jungles and forests to mountain tops and fields, you can be sure there is some zip line adventure in reaching the distance of most popular travel destinations.
However, true adrenaline junkies will want to push their experience to the extreme! What better way to get that blood pumping than by tackling the fastest zip wire in the world? If you’ve never done zip lining by being strapped up like superman, you haven’t done it right! Hurtle face-first across the stunning blue lake of the Penrhyn slate quarry and experience g-force like you’ve never felt before! In true roller-coaster style, the experience only lasts a minute, but the thrill will last for hours.
Best of all, you get another zip line thrown in beforehand for good measure. Although it’s called the Little Zipper, there is nothing little about it, but it is a great way to break you in before the big one, Velocity 2.
Where can you do it: Zip World, North Wales.
How much does it cost: approximately £91, depending on the day of the week you book (week days are cheaper).
How long does it take: factor in a few hours for your visit in total.
Related Read: Snowden Zip Wire | Feed Your Need for Speed
If the thought of hurtling headfirst towards the ground fills you with excitement, then bungee jumping is for you. Whether you take a ‘lovers leap’ or a solo jump, a bungee jump is genuinely exhilarating.
You can do this leap of faith in many different locations and at various heights and terrains. It takes one brave (or insane!?) person to stand at the edge of a platform and step off it. Even thinking about it brings up memories of those dreams of falling that wake everyone up. But push past the doubts, the uncertainty, and fear, and you will have the time of your life. If It is your first time, try and find a location to jump from that has a ‘soft’ fall, like over a river or grassy banking. It certainly won’t help those fear gremlins if you’re looking down at a slab of concrete, that’s for sure.
Where can you do it: various locations in the UK, as well as worldwide.
How much does it cost: From £50 per person, depending when and where you book.
How long does it take: Factor in a couple of hours for the whole experience.
Adventure Water Sports
Contributed by Carryn at Torn Tackies Travel Blog
Surfing is all the hype these days – and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it fun, but it’s great exercise and an excellent way to meet people while you’re on the road. Anyone can surf, young and old, and you’ve got to start somewhere, so don’t be intimidated by the experts!
Where can you do it: If you’re starting and learning to surf, Hiriketiya Beach in Sri Lanka is the perfect place for you. The beach break is ideal for beginners, with several spots to choose from, depending on your progress. There’s also a reef break for more confident surfers. But what makes Hiriketiya the best place to surf is the atmosphere. There’s a cheerful vibe with everyone encouraging each other – be it your first time standing up or your first wipeout. You’ll make friends for life, and even though you might not be the best surfer by the end of it, you’ll leave with incredible memories.
How much does it cost: Surfboard rental starts at $1 per hour, and a lesson is $15 per hour. So it’s best to learn first and then rent a board to practice on your own. And don’t be too hard on yourself – learning to surf doesn’t happen overnight, but once you start, you’ll be hooked!
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Contributed by Natalie and Steve from Curious Campers
If you like wildlife encounters, nothing beats swimming with the world’s biggest fish – whale sharks. Each year between March and August, they migrate to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef along the northwest coast of Western Australia. Don’t be put off by their name; although they are sharks, these 7-10 meter gentle giants are filter feeders and pose no danger. That being said, the thrill you get in seeing them up close is worthy of your adrenaline junkie bucket list.
Seeing their giant shape emerge from the blue then swimming alongside them is a breathtaking experience. On these eco-friendly tours, you’ll get multiple opportunities to be in the water with the whale shark. We had six swims with them on our trip, along with a couple of reef snorkels. Of course, you might spot whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and dugongs on the cruise too.
Where can you do it: Whale shark tours operate out of Exmouth and Coral Bay in Western Australia. At peak season in June and July, you will need to book ahead.
How much does it cost: Tours cost approximately AUD$425, including supervised whale shark swims, all snorkeling gear, usually a couple of reef snorkels and lunch, and sometimes photos.
How long does it take: Expect to spend 5 – 7 hours on the water, starting around 8.00 am. In Exmouth, providers offer pick-up-drop off from your accommodation.
Cage Diving with Great Whites
Contributed by Debbie Fettback from WorldAdventurists.com.
Cage Diving with great white sharks is the ultimate thrill and not for the faint of heart. Gansbaai, South Africa (specifically in Shark Alley) is the best location to get in the water with these large predatory fish because it is the great white shark capital of the world.
You will hop inside a large cage wearing a wetsuit and goggles. The cage will protect you from physical contact with the sharks while you enjoy up close and personal views of these fantastic and largely misunderstood creatures. Growing up to 20 feet and weighing up to 5,000 pounds, the first close sighting will have your heart racing. You will realize that sharks should be more respected than feared.
Where can you do it: Gansbaai, South Africa
How long does it take: Your turn in the cage lasts 20 minutes, with the chance to go in a second time. Your viewing does not end when you are not in the cage; there are plenty of sightings from onboard too. The duration of the trip is approximately 3.5 hours on the sea. The crew will chum for the sharks but does not feed them.
How much does it cost: In South Africa, the cost is around $100USD (1500 ZAR).
White water rafting
Do you enjoy extreme water sports where the risk of breaking bones is real? Just like any adrenaline activity, white water rafting comes with a touch of danger, but that’s what makes it fun. Place yourself in the hands of an experienced guide who will do all the hard work for you (the steering!) and have a bumpy, soaking, and ultimately thrilling adventure.
There are some fabulous places in the world to experience class IV or higher rapids. Take the Piccaue river in Costa Rica, for example. This river will crash you over fast flowing water, under waterfalls and through the narrow paths of rocks. It certainty is a perfect addition to your adrenaline junkie bucket list. However, there are also many man-made white water rafting centers available where you can have just as much fun without traveling too far.
Where can you do it? various places in Costa Rica but Paccaue river is one of the best.
How much does it cost? approximately $99
How long does it last? You will get approximately 4 hours on the river, but allow 5-6 hours for the full experience.
Adrenaline Junkie Bucket List | Final Thoughts
You’ve discovered bone-chilling adventures, spine-tingling activities, and gut-wrenching experiences that will fill your adrenaline junkie bucket list 10 x over. The hardest part will be where to start! While most of these adventures refer to specific locations, many are available in several worldwide destinations.
The following links will help you find your nearest adventurous activities so that you can do something closer to home. However, part of the thrill is in the trip itself so if you can, make it happen.
- Get Your Guide – activities and experiences worldwide
- Klook – activities and experiences predominantly in the USA and Asia
- Viator – the activity and experiences arm of tripadvisor with worldwide coverageKlook
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