Top 10 adventure destinations in the World
Online travel community tripadvisor.com has listed 10 of the most popular outdoor and adventure destinations in the world.
1. Queenstown, New Zealand
The picturesque city of Queenstown, famously captured on film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, seems to be attracting outdoor enthusiasts. They’re flocking to the Kiwi town for adventure sports such as kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. If breaking into a sweat is not your thing, then a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, which is part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage site, is an option along with sampling South Island pinot noir from one of the region’s 75 wineries.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
You’ve heard about them, even studied them, now visit them. The high-altitude National Park offers visitors prime rock-climbing, hiking and biking trails, and plenty of camping options. The Rocky Mountain Nature Association Field Seminars offers a more learned experience for those of you who are little more intellectually inclined.
3. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
If you’re teh sorts that always gets glued to the TV when Discovery Channel or Animal Planet is on, this could be your trip to make. From lions, leopards, zebras and elephants to the free-spirited gazelle and bambi-deer, it’s Discovery live and one of the most awesome sights in nature.
4. Banff National Park, Alberta
Remember Jumanji? This is where you’ll find it. Banff National Park, one of Canada’s largest parks, has something for every adventurer. Ride Banff Gondola to an elevation of 2281m/7486ft for thrilling views of the mountains or take a helicopter ride to more remote regions for a multi-day guided hike among wildlife and waterfalls.
5. Whistler, British Columbia
Think 2010 Winter Olympics! You’ll be in the heart of where the action happened. Historically known as a winter vacation spot, this alpine village has seen outdoor enthusiasts flocking to enjoy the summer months in recent years. Whistler is named after the furry marmots (funny-looking squirrels) who fill the surrounding mountains with their distinct whistle sound. Nothing like waking up to a squirrel whistle from your slope-side chalet!
6. Interlaken, Switzerland
If you’re after a winter sports holiday, Interlaken is the real deal. The popular Swiss resort town has superlative skiing, toboggan rides, miles of sledding tracks and snowboarding. In summer, hike among the ibex at nearby Neiderhorn, or shop for watches in the town’s boutiques.
7. Lake District, United Kingdom
Cumbria’s valleys are home to idyllic villages, high moorlands and picturesque lakes. Literary buffs will enjoy Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, and if you’ve got kids in tow, visit The World of Beatrix Potter. Or just enjoy a leisurely drive through beautiful scenery.
8. El Calafate, Argentina
Building on its must-visit location, the once-tiny El Calafate has grown quickly to cater to and profit from the visitors to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. Many visit to see such natural wonders as Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive glacier that’s actually composed of many other pieces of shifting ice. Yet travellers will find that El Calafate is much more than merely a gateway to the Patagonian wild—it’s a fun town offering all sorts of outdoor adventures.
9. San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Nipping at the ankles of the Andes, San Carlos, the largest ski area in South America, also offers thrilling boating, trekking, paragliding and climbing. The truly brave at heart can take the plunge into icy Lake Nahuel Huapi, which, even in summer, never rises above a chilling average temperature of 57°F. Beaches like Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul are stunning, but try to avoid the city in July, when the town is inundated by high-school students.
10. Zermatt, Switzerland
The village of Zermatt itself is lovely and car-free, with old-fashioned brown chalets and winding alleys. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk everywhere—there are electric vehicles and horse-drawn cabs.) Skiing in the region often lasts through early summer, but when the weather’s warmer, it’s a great time to hike.