Top Types of Adventure Travel

Ten Unforgettable Different Types of Adventures

Exploring any of these different types of adventure travel opportunities will enrich your life, leaving you with lasting memories and countless photos to share with friends and family. From scuba diving to mushing huskies, these examples of unforgettable adventure travel will open new worlds for you.

  • 01 of 10

    Floating Above the World in a Hot Air Balloon

    ••• The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Ballooning Capital of the World. Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images

    Peering down from the passenger basket of a hot air balloon operated by Serengeti Balloon Safaris gives you a bird's-eye view of the scenery. Floating over an African veld as lions roam below is a popular way to celebrate an anniversary or other major milestone. The views you get while drifting above these unique landscapes will stay with you forever. Closer to home, float in the sky during in one of the annual balloon festivals in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Snowmass, Colorado, or many other resort towns. With Buddy Bombard you can take a balloon ride over chateaus, historic towns, and vineyards throughout Europe as well. 

  • 02 of 10
    Taking a zipline ride in Thailand
    ••• Flight of the Gibbon Zipline. Tree Asia

    Heart racing, you step off the platform and into nothingness, zipping from one tree to the other, while reaching speeds of 35 miles an hour – or even more. Called by some the hottest adventure sport on the planet, on a zipline tour you'll step into a climbing harness that is hooked to a steel cable, so you can fly from tree to tree using a specially developed pulley system. Click on Top Ziplines and Canopy Tours for an introduction to the many places around the world where you can soar amongst the trees or walk on Indiana Jones-style bridges from one tree to the next. Looking for a warm-weather zipline, or want to fly over snowy slopes? You can soar on the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii or on a mountainside in Whistler, British Columbia. Not sure what a zip line tour is? Click on ​How to Take a Zipline tours and see how easy it is to get going.

  • 03 of 10
    Exploring ancient cities in Peru on the way to Machu Picchu
    ••• Exploring ancient cities in Peru on the way to Machu Picchu. (c) Lois Friedland

    Hiking the ancient Inca Trail isn't just an amazing way to reach Machu Picchu, it is amongst the greatest adventure travel experiences in the world. The iconic route wanders through towering, snowcapped peaks in the Andes, culminating with an arrival at the famous Inca mountain fortress through the so-called Sun Gate. The entire trek usually takes about 4 days, reaching heights above 13,000 feet at various points along the way. 

  • 04 of 10
    A family rides on a motor scooter in Hanoi, Vietnam
    ••• A family rides on a motor scooter in Hanoi, Vietnam. (c) Lois Friedland

    In Vietnam, vacationers bounce back and forth between noisy cities with seemingly more than 500 motor scooters and bikes surround every car, and a bucolic countryside where water buffalo pull farmers on a foot plow through watery rice fields. Many of the most popular trips to Vietnam include biking and hiking to small villages and through the countryside. Click here to read more about some of the experiences you'll find in the country, which is filled with amazingly friendly people, unique opportunities for adventure, and stunning landscapes.

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  • 05 of 10
    Voluntourism - Volunteer Tourism
    ••• Voluntourism is a growing trend amongst travelers. Kraig Becker

    Volunteer Tourism – combining traditional travel with volunteer work - takes travelers out of their normal environment or travel style, and enhances a vacation in unique, sometimes unforeseen, ways. Voluntourism.org is a website that serves as a good source for finding organizations and tour operators that offer volunteer experiences for part of a trip or for the entire vacation. If you're not sure if voluntourism is for you, take a look at this article on how to decide.

  • 06 of 10
    Heli Skiing in the Canadian Rockies
    ••• A helicopter can be a fun way to explore the Canadian Rockies. George Rose/Getty images

    Does hitching a ride on a helicopter to a remote mountainside in the Canadian Rockies and climbing to the peak interest you? Easy scrambles on Trident Peak to steep climbs on Mount Sir Sandford (and rappels back down) are in the mix of mountaineering experiences offered by Canadian Mountain Holidays. Best known as CMH Heli-Skiing for its winter backcountry excursions, during the summer months the company offers mountaineering and hiking packages at its five lodges in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

  • 07 of 10
    Scuba Diving Great Barrier Reef
    ••• Scuba diving is an amazing way to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the Caribbean. Alessandro Rota/Getty Images

    Scuba tank-laden humans are far outnumbered by the parade of sea life cruising in the multi-hued coral canyons off Lady Elliot Island. This fragile ​cay is the southernmost in the line of interconnecting reefs that form Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Here, you can walk off the beach and peer into the three-foot-wide mouth of a giant blue-tipped clam or jockey for space with manta rays. Alternatively, head to the Caribbean to explore underwater coral gardens and encounter other forms of sea life. Click here to learn about Top Off Shore Diving in Bonaire, Curacao and the Cayman Islands.

  • 08 of 10
    Bubbling mud pots in Yellowstone National Park
    ••• Bubbling mud pots in Yellowstone National Park. (c) Lois Friedland

    You can snowmobile or cross-country ski past steamy clouds drifting from blue-tinted hot springs, or go snowshoeing on paths in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Photograph bison from the safety of your snow coach and watch wolf pups play in the fish snow. Click on the headline for the top 10 reasons to visit Yellowstone in the winter.

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  • 09 of 10
    Seals on Vancouver Island
    ••• Take the family to visit seals on Vancouver Island. Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    Introduce your children to the wilder side of life on Vancouver Island, Canada. Take them kayaking in the Pacific Ocean off the desolate beaches of Tofino, go seal watching from motorized Zodiacs, and in search of black bears scrounging for crabs and clams. Austin Adventures offers this Canadian trip every summer and it is an unforgettable one. 

  • 10 of 10
    dogsledding
    ••• Dogsledding is an amazing winter wilderness activity. Matej Divizna/Getty Images

    Whether you're tucked under a blanket behind a guide or steering your own team of huskies, riding in a dog sled on trails through a forest is a lot of fun. There are dog sled operations at many winter resorts ranging from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Snowmass, Colorado to Nome, Alaska. Wintergreen Dog Sledding in Minnesota's north country has multi-day trips where you'll get to mush your own team for several days in the backcountry.