Bungee jumping is probably the easiest adventure sport in the entire world. All you need to do is attach a long, measured rubber band to a fixed object, attach the other end to yourself, screw up your courage and throw yourself off of a bridge, tower, dam or other sufficiently tall structure, all the while praying the cord is short enough and will hold. (Disclaimer: You should only try this at established bungee locations where safety precautions are in place.)
The only way to really understand the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump is to do it yourself - or so I've been told. I admit, that although my son thinks it's great, I'm happy to remain just a spectator. I've seen bungee jumps at locations that – to put it candidly – I would never try, although the settings and views are often spectacular. If you've tried any of the following, let me know about your experience.
Bungee Jump Off the Macau Tower
This is billed as the world's highest bungee jump, providing you with an astonishing view of the city as you careen downward alongside the Macau Tower. During this journey, jumpers freefall from a platform that's located about 730 feet above the city streets, plummeting for about 4- to 5 seconds at extreme speeds. Using a guided cable, bungee jumpers then land on a specially designed airbag that provides a safe and soft end to their adventure.
The Royal Gorge Bridge, Canyon City, Colorado
Living in Colorado, I'm not too far from the Royal Gorge in Canyon City.
I've gone under the bridge on the train that goes along the Arkansas River, walked over it on the wooden planks, and even witnessed some bungee jumps its impressive spans.
At 1,053 feet, it's allegedly the highest fixed bridge jump in the world. The river below looks like a ribbon and you fall for approximately 15 seconds as it races up towards you.
Traditional bungee jumping is currently banned from the bridge, but you never know when the powers that be may change their minds. Keep checking the website for updates.
The Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa
If you take the Royal Gorge bridge out of the picture, the Bloukrans Bridge is now considered to be the highest bridge with a commercial bungee jumping operation in the world at over 700 feet. Trust me, it is definitely high and very intimidating. The bridge is located north of Cape Town, and 40 km east of Plettenberg Bay. The bungee (or bungy) operation there has been operated by Face Adrenalin since 1997. After you've completed your jump, head into Tsitsikamma National Park for a 10 zip line ride high in the trees through the jungle too.
The Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwe
At about 365 feet the Victoria Falls Bridge is not the highest bungee jump in the world, but it's in one of the most beautiful settings you could possibly ask for. Because of the open landscape and the rushing water below, this one has a pucker factor of 10 for sure. But where else on the planet can you jump into a rainbow?
The Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon Arizona
The Navajo Bridge is near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and provides a jump site of about 470 feet.
Arizona permits bungee jumping from bridges and this one falls between two vertical, red sandstone walls. The fact that the river below is not raging makes it a bit less frightening for some, but it's still a very high jump. Depending upon who you jump with, you can take a cooling dip in the water at no extra charge.
Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Bungee pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch launched both themselves off the Kawarau Bridge in 1988, and in the process claim to have started the international phenomenon that is now known as bungee jumping. If a friend doesn't want join you in a tandem jump, they can watch everything while standing on the viewer deck. Or, they might be able to see jumpers while riding in a jet boat below the bridge as well.
The company also has a bungee-jumping operation at the Aukland Bridge on New Zealand's North Island too.
The Rio Grande Bridge, Taos, New Mexico
The Rio Grande Bridge or the "Gorge Bridge" to locals, is north of Taos, NM and a favorite stop for visitors to the area or those heading through on the way to Santa Fe. The bridge, which stands 565 feet above the Rio Grande, makes such a great photo op that it has also been used in several movies.
I haven't been there in a few years but I know the state did extensive work on in the past decade. The last time I walked the bridge it shook every time a car passed. I'm not sure if the repairs fixed that issue but imagine getting ready for your first jump and having the bridge start shaking under your feet.
Bungee Expeditions provides jumping at the Navajo Bridge, Rio Grande Bridge and numerous other locations around the Southwest and Western United States. I have no firsthand knowledge of their operations but they've been conducting jumps for more than 20 years, so if you're ready to give bungee jumping a try, they are probably worth checking out.
More Sky High Adrenaline Activities
If you're into zip lining, sky diving, parahawking, flying fighter planes and other above the earth activities, visit Sky High Adventures.