Bungee jumping is probably the easiest adventure sport in the entire world. Basically, you attach one end of a long, measured rubber band to yourself, secure the other end to a fixed object, and then throw yourself off a bridge, tower, dam, or other tall structure.
The only way to truly understand the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump is to do it yourself. It is one of the most visceral and immediate thrills that any adventure traveler can experience, and fortunately, there plenty of places to try it all across the globe. Most of the time, the setting and the views are quite spectacular, but take those in on your way up before the jump—you likely won't notice them with your eyes tightly shut as you're falling down.
Achieve that adrenaline rush yourself, either in the U.S. or abroad, at one of these top places.
(Disclaimer: You should only try this at established bungee locations where safety precautions are in place.)
01 of 07
The Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand
Bungee pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch launched both themselves off the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand back in 1988, and in the process, claim to have started this international phenomenon now known as bungee jumping.
Today, bungee fans still flock to the bridge in Queenstown to take the leap that supposedly started it all. There are even options to jump tandem if you have a like-minded travel companion, but if your friends don't want join, they can watch everything while standing on the nearby observation deck. You might also be able to see jumpers while riding in a jet boat on the river below the bridge.
The company also has a bungee-jumping operation at the Aukland Bridge on New Zealand's North Island too.
02 of 07
The Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe
At about 365 feet in height, the Victoria Falls Bridge is not the highest bungee jump in the world, but it's one of the most beautiful—where else on the planet can you jump headfirst into a rainbow?
This jump sends adrenaline junkies plummeting off the bridge toward the Zambezi River below. As you drop, the stunning views of the Batoka Gorge surround you, with the amazing Victoria Falls providing a dramatic backdrop.
03 of 07
The Macau Tower in China
This is billed as the world's highest bungee jump, providing you with an astonishing view of the city of Macau as you careen downward alongside the Macau Tower itself. During this journey, jumpers free fall from a platform that's located about 764 feet above the city streets, plummeting for about four to five seconds at extreme speeds before coming to a gentle stop about 100 feet above the ground. From there, a guided cable lowers jumpers into a specially designed airbag that provides a safe and soft end to their adventure. The very brave can even bungee jump at night!
04 of 07
The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado
Colorado is home to one of the highest bridge bungee jumps in the world. Looking down from the top of the Royal Gorge in Cañon City, the river seems like a tiny ribbon, a sight terrifying enough to make anyone weak in the knees. The fall from the bridge lasts approximately 15 seconds.
At the moment, bungee jumping is banned from the bridge, except during an annual event called the Go Fast Games, which are held for just three days each year.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
The Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa
At more than 700 feet tall, the Bloukrans Bridge is an intimidating sight to behold.
The bridge is located north of Cape Town, South Africa and 40 kilometers east of Plettenberg Bay. The bungee operation there has been operated by Face Adrenalin since 1997. After you've completed your jump, head into Tsitsikamma National Park to zip line through the jungle.
06 of 07
The Navajo Bridge in Arizona
The Navajo Bridge is located near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and provides a jump site of about 470 feet tall. Arizona permits bungee jumping from bridges, and this one falls between two vertical, red sandstone walls, making it a memorable drop.
There are several operators who offer bungee jumps from the bridge, and depending upon who you sign up with, you can also take a cooling dip in the river afterwards at no extra charge. This is a good way to cool down following such a wild ride.
07 of 07
The Rio Grande Bridge in New Mexico
The Rio Grande Bridge or the "Gorge Bridge" to locals, is north of Taos, New Mexico, and a favorite stop for visitors to the area or those passing through on their way to Santa Fe. The bridge, which stands 565 feet above the Rio Grande (680 feet when taking in the clearance beneath the span), makes such a great photo op that it has found its way into several movies too.
This particular bungee jump is a popular one in the U.S. because it is the highest active jump in the entire country. Bungee Expeditions provides jumping at the Navajo Bridge, Rio Grande Bridge, and numerous other locations around the southwest and western United States. The company has been in operation for more than 25 years, so if you're ready to give bungee jumping a try, they are probably worth checking out.