Each trip is an adventure — a journey to somewhere new and unknown. Extreme traveling is not only doing extreme sports but visiting unusual places as well. Take a look at the fifteen unique places to visit while planning your next extreme travel adventure.
Most Dangerous Waters on Earth — Gansbaai, South Africa
Gansbaai is a fishing town in South Africa. Besides mongers selling their catch every day, the town has a popular tourist attraction, Great White Shark. The waters in Gansbaai are sharks’ favorite seal-hunting ground. Tourists from all over the world come to experience how diving with these sharks looks like. The visitors can dive down in a protected cage and watch the sharks swim by. The unique experience is certainly nothing less than thrilling.
Also, there are numerous nearby locations worth a visit. The lighthouse in Cape Agulhas, the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic, is a one-hour ride from the town. The undivided attention falls on the mesmerizing view over the cove, where the sunset seems brighter than anywhere else in the world.
Hiking in the Clouds — Madeira Islands, Portugal
Madeira Islands are an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. The soaring mountains rise 5,905 feet above the ocean surface. The lush island nature is home to 3,000 different plant types, Mediterranean cuisine, and several walking routes high in the clouds.
While the hiking bridges nest along the mountains, the tunnels and paths lack rails along the Levada do Alecrim trail, 3937 feet above the sea level. Madeira Island has mild weather, which is why the locals often refer to it as eternal spring. Madeira is also a frequent adventure for the surfers.
Running of the Bulls — Pamplona, Spain
Pamplona is a town in Navarra, Spain’s northern region. The capital of Navarra is famous for its religious and unique San Fermin Festival, which lasts from July 14 to July 16. The festival was romanticized in the Ernest Hemingway novel “The Sun Also Rises.”
Among the most exhilarating experiences during the week-long festival is the Running of the Bulls. The adrenalin-hungry visitors run before the deadly bull hooves down the narrow streets of the old town. The race with the bulls ends a couple of minutes later, before the entrance to the bullring, where bullfights begin.
The origin of the Running of the Bulls dates from the tradition started in the 13th century, when Spanish butchers used to chase the cattle from the ship port to the pans. Today the traditional customs are long gone, but the ritual still remains. Apart from the festival and the sound of the bulls’ hooves along the cobblestone road, there is a steady flow of tourists all year round for the hiking route Camino de Santiago.
Death Road — Bolivia
Death Road (Camino a los Yungas or Camino de la Muerte) spreads along a 45-mile-long gorge in west Bolivia, one hour-ride from the town La Paz. The road, although picturesque, keeps eroding each year. Part of this road was built by the prisoners from Paraguay, during the war in 1934, on the sides of the Andes where they slope to the Amazon jungle.
The entire route has no supporting walls. Both lanes going in different directions are wide enough for a single vehicle. For decades, the deadly highway has taken thousands of lives, hence the name Death Road. Due to its macabre name, it has become an attraction for cycling tourists. The ride is 40 miles long and goes mostly downhill with several small uphills.
Bolivia has many of nature’s treasures. The world’s biggest salt plate, Uyuni, is located south-west from the Road. You might decide to prepare the boots and go on an adventure through the Amazon jungle and the National Park Madidi.
Night Volcano Hiking — Indonesia
Nested between the group of active craters, Kawah Ijen is a volcano located on the island of Java, in Indonesia. It is famous for its blue fire phenomena. The hike to the top of the volcano is almost two hours long. The night walk up the mountain makes it possible to witness the glow of the blue fumes coming from the Kawah Ijen crater.
The blue fire comes from sulphuric gas combustion. What makes everything worthwhile is the endless starry sky and the sunrise over the mountain tops. Java is famous for its religion. The island hides away one of the world’s most famous temples — Borobudur. The temple complex was built in the 8th century and is under UNESCO protection. The famous 72 Budha statues keep a watchful eye over the relics.
The Frozen Village Coldest on Earth — Oymyakon, Russia
Oymyakon is located in eastern Siberia. It is a frost-covered village, sparsely populated, with 500 inhabitants. It is closer to the Arctic Circle than any other inhabitable town. The statue in the center of the village square stands as the remainder of the lowest temperature recorded on Earth.
The main reason why the settlement was created in 1924 was the thermal spring which never froze despite the temperature. The village’s lowest temperature is -96 degrees Fahrenheit, and the life outside the houses is impossible. Anyone foolish enough to come outside unprotected will freeze in a matter of minutes.
By the end of every dark winter, when nights last for 21 hours, the town becomes center of the winter festival. Every March in Oymyakon is marked with Cold Pole Festival, hosted by Chyskhan the Lord of Frost. Oymyakon shows its treasured history, customs, and art with visitors.
Full Moon Party — Koh Phangan, Thailand
Full Moon Party 2019 event happens in a small town called Haad Rin, on the southern tip of Koh Phangan, an island in southeast Thailand. From the moonrise to the sunset, the beach becomes one big night club where over 30,000 people from all over the world gather in front of the stage.
The drinks are sold in buckets along the entire stretch of the beach. Fire jump ropes are an iconic element of Koh Phangan famous beach rave. The full moon happens several times during the year, but if you are not a fan of the party vibe, the quietest months are between April and June. The island has a lot more to offer aside from the party. The beaches are covered in soft sand, and there are secret coves worth exploring.
The Driest Place on Earth — Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert spreads through the largest part of Northern Chile. The desert was once a village, and all transport of the nitrate out of Chile went through it. The harsh terrain of the desert was artificially changed by human hand. People cultivated different agricultural plants as well as llamas, and alpacas.
The origins of the desert date back to more than three million years, when the terrain was part of the seabed. The dunes of today still resemble the ocean floor, molded by endless waves. The climate coming from the ocean creates dry air in the desert, which is why it is often called the extraterrestrial place on earth. The places all around the desert are attractive to the extreme. If you can handle it, you can also visit the Death Valley and descend the dunes 393 feet down.
The Remotest Island on Earth — Tristan da Cunha, United Kingdom
Tristan da Cunha is the group of islands located in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. The island was a military settlement in 1867. The troops had a task to guard the islands and prevent the French from rescuing Napoleon, who was located on the nearby island of Saint Helena.
The island was named Edinburgh of the Seven Seas after Duke of Edinburgh visited the troops. Today the remote island is home to 267 people. The island is accessible only by boat, and the sail takes 18 days from the mainland.
The Closest Point to the Sun on Earth — Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador
Mount Chimborazo is a dormant volcano located in central Ecuador. While Mount Everest is the world’s highest peak, the Chimborazo is the Earth’s closest point to the outer space. The fact that the mountain is the farthest location on Earth from its exact center, many see it as the nearest point to the Sun.
Chimborazo is also the favorite spot for extreme climbers. The climb is challenging and requires some endurance training before heading up the slope. The entire route lasts for two days, although the actual climb is seven hours in total. But the sunrise is well worth it.
Titanic Dive — Newfoundland, Canada
Newfoundland is the eastern province of Canada. Famous for its diverse cultural heritage, it is also referred to as the land of Vikings. The early settlements in Newfoundland date back to the 11th century, when European settlers came to the land.
Today it is home to fishermen, loggers, and trappers. A former land of Vikings is also a very top-rated tourist attraction ever since the province announced tourist expeditions below the sea. The Great Canadian Adventure Company takes tourists on costly expeditions aboard the Akademik Keldysh, a Russian vessel used for research. The vessel is capable of descending nearly 2.5 miles below the surface.
The tour includes an underwater visit to the final resting place of the legendary Titanic. On the night of April 1912, the ship hit the iceberg 300 miles southeast from the Newfoundland shore. The maiden voyage ended when Titanic poetically sank to the bottom of the ocean. The famous Titanic is the watery grave of the ship’s captain, members of the crew and 2,200 other travelers. The ship’s wreck sleeps quietly beneath the surface, too fragile to be rescued, but ready for a visit.
Chevé Cave — Mexico
Cheve Cave is one of the deepest caves in the Americas. Located in the southern mountain range in the State of Oaxaca, the cave —its explored parts— goes 4,869 feet deep underground. The cave’s history dates back to the Late Postclassic Period, between 1250–1500 A.D., when it was used for religious ceremonies. The cave has multiple unexplored tunnels and labyrinths presumed to reach beyond 6,561 feet.
Also, the risk of sudden water levels rising is high during the rainy season, which makes the cave accessible only from February to April. The air inside the cave is surprisingly warm, reaching up to 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
Western Mongolia Hiking — Mongolia
The mountain range Tavan Bogd is located in the far west of Mongolia. Tavan Bogd means “Five Large Peaks,” named after the mountain’s highest peaks. The tallest peak, 14,300 feet, also presents the highest mountain in Mongolia.
The hike from the lake valley to the peak lasts for five days and is embellished with unspoiled Mongolian nature. The visitors often go on horseback to experience the tradition of the region. Western Mongolia is home to Kazakh falconry culture. Eagle hunting dates back to ancient China. The Mongol history mentions that Genghis Khan himself caught an eagle for his father. The sport of falconry and eagle hunting has almost vanished, but the Kazakhs still follow the ancestors’ steps along the Chinese and Mongolian border.
Rafting the Zambezi River — Zambia
The Zambezi is one of the largest rivers in Africa. The 1,599-mile-long river springs in Zambia, flows through Angola, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique, to end its journey in the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi waters are dangerous because of its inhabitants, the hippopotamus and Nile crocodile.
The Zambezi River has cut, below the Victoria Falls, its way into a basalt gorge, at which point it is 750 feet deep. The rapids along the river are 330 feet and one mile apart. The Zambezi is a high-volume river, and at some rapids, it feels like the rafters are falling off of a two-story building. The Zambezi is one-of-a-kind rafting experience.
The Steepest Peak on Earth — Mount Thor, Nunavut, Canada
Mount Thor is located on Nunavut Island, at the far north of Canada. It is a towering mountain peak of 4,101 feet. The peak has a vertical drop at an average angle of about 105 degrees, making Mount Thor the steepest mountain in the world — the fact that, despite the remoteness, makes it a place of interest for rock climbers. One climbing expedition lasted for 33 days due to the debris and unpredictable gear. The northern part of Canada has intact nature and mesmerizing Aurora Borealis nights as well.
Nonetheless, each extreme travel location is only half of the adventure. Whether a delicious cuisine hits your nostrils or you are face to face to the significant challenge is what makes your extreme adventure worthwhile.