11 Adventurous Vacation Ideas for Thrill-Seekers

 You'll get the ultimate adrenaline rush from any of these bucket list experiences.

  • 01 of 11

    Swim With Whales

    Scuba diver approaches humpback whales
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    You can swim with whales under highly regulated conditions in the Sanctuary of the Marine Mammals in the Dominican Republic. The humpbacks migrate to the Silver Bank from December through mid-April, and Conscious Breath Adventures takes travelers out to meet the whales. Hearing their haunting song as they glide through the water next to you will be an unforgettable experience.

    You can also swim with humpback whales in Vava'u, Tonga. These South Pacific whales migrate from feeding grounds in the Antarctic to the northern islands of Tonga each year. Whale Swim runs tours from early July to late October.

  • 02 of 11

    Sky Dive From 30,000 Feet

    HALO skydiving
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    If you have the courage to jump out of an airplane flying 30,000-feet above the earth, HALO (High-Altitude, Low-Opening) skydiving might be for you. At this altitude, you'll get quite a rush, with the oxygen so thin you'll probably need to wear a mask. Go to Incredible Adventures for the details about this extreme experience that will almost certainly get your heart pumping.

  • 03 of 11

    Surf Down a Volcano in Nicaragua

    Volcano Surfing in Nicaragua
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    As you can probably imagine, surfing down the side of a volcano on a wooden plank isn't the same as surfing in the ocean. Expect to get dirty, and maybe even pick up a few abrasions if you fall off the board. But those who've done it say it's a true adrenaline rush, blending speed and skill. Learn more about this sport, which is sometimes called "ash boarding" at Bigfoot Boarding in Nicaragua.

  • 04 of 11

    Bungee Jump Off the Macau Tower

    Macau Tower
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    Considered the one of the world's highest bungee jumps at about 764 feet off the ground, any adrenaline junkie is guaranteed a rush when leaping off the platform of the Macau Tower in China. While plummeting downward you'll get an amazing view of the busy city below and the open water beyond. You'll be free falling at extreme speeds for about five seconds, eventually landing on an airbag that has been specially designed to break your fall.

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  • 05 of 11

    Chase a Storm

    storm chasers tornado
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    If storms and tornadoes fascinate you, sign up for a storm-chasing tour—you'll hop in a van that takes you so close to a tornado that the wind is rushing around you. For that reason, choose a company that has a good safety record, of course. 

    Storm Chasing has offered tours in Tornado Alley (the midwest region of the U.S.) for more than a decade. Silver Linings offers a variety of outings. Excursions are offered roughly from May through August, depending on weather conditions.

  • 06 of 11

    Scuba Dive in a Cenote in Mexico

    Divers enter cenote in the area of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
    Karen Doody/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

    For a true underwater adventure unlike any other, go scuba diving in a cenote on the Mexican Riviera instead. You'll drop into a limestone cave carved out by passing water centuries before. As you swim through this strange and intriguing underworld, you'll witness a place that few have the opportunity to see, providing an experience that most divers can only dream of. Here's what it's like to take a plunge in a cenote.

  • 07 of 11

    Go Canyoneering in Utah

    A hiker in a slot canyon in Utah, USA.
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    Canyoneering is an outdoor activity that sends travelers into narrow, twisty canyons that require rappelling, swimming, hiking, and climbing to pass through. Moab, Utah has plenty of opportunities to drop into sandstone gorges and explore hidden realms, making it one of the best places to try this. If you're an adrenaline junkie, be prepared to spend days hiking and rappelling in these slot canyons, getting the change to explore remote areas that few people ever see.

  • 08 of 11

    Take a Mule Ride in Hawaii

    Kalaupapa, Molokai
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    The narrow trail that carries visitors down to Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka'i, Hawaii is a single-file affair at best. As you drop down the side of the 1,800-foot cliff, you'll be glad you're on the back of a sure-footed mule who can do most of the work for you. The adrenaline rush comes when you peer over the edge to see the ocean so far below, but the real pay off comes when you arrive at the former leper colony for a tour and some outstanding views of the spectacular beach and surrounding countryside.

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  • 09 of 11

    Cage Dive With Great White Sharks

    cage diving great white sharks
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    Your adrenaline will definitely start flowing as you see those teeth gliding through the water in your direction. The most well-known cage diving operations (Shark Cage Diving) are off the coast of South Africa. 

    If you're closer to the U.S., you can submerge in the waters off the Farallon Islands, 26 miles west of San Francisco, or take a multi-day adventure to Isla Guadalupe, located 160 miles off the coast of Baja California with Great White Adventures.

  • 10 of 11

    Pilot a Fighter Jet in South Africa

    Jet Fighter
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    Hop into the cockpit of a two-seater English Electric Lightning, a fighter plane that actually flies high enough that you can see the curvature of the earth. Or better yet, experience what air-to-air combat is like in the Hawker Hunter, which can do loops that will leave you fighting intense G-forces. These two of the experiences in Thunder City in Cape Town, South Africa are sure to amp up your adrenaline.

  • 11 of 11

    Ride an Olympic Bobsled in Utah

    Bobsled Park City Utah
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    Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and the Olympic Park in Park City lets visitors get an adrenaline rush by zooming down the bobsled run. You'll rip through 15 turns and go downhill at almost 80 mph. Rides are available in both the summer and winter. For details visit Olympic Park Bobsled.