You want top adventure trips—we got ‘em. If the thrill of adventure travel can be heard shouting your name, it might finally be time to check it out…for real. Obviously adventure means something different to everyone, which is why we provided a list of some insanely awesome and unique top adventure trips.
Some programs combine volunteer work, while others focus on the exhilaration that can be found through speed and exploration. If you only have a few days, that is an option. So it is a few months! Are these truly the best adventure trips in the world? Maybe. You will just have to see for yourself!
Awesome Trips to Adventure
1. Go way Down Unda on this Australia adventure tour
Founded by two travel enthusiasts themselves, Welcome to Travel offers affordable 4 or 8-day adventures in Melbourne, perfect for those who love adventure but are short on planning time. The folks in charge have your planning covered…from an airport shuttle to accommodations to the tours. All you need to do is bring your sense of adventure and your bucket list. Plus, if you’re looking to stay in Australia and find some work, they’re ready to provide a welcome package for a long-term kick-start to your new life in Australia.
2. Install clean water filters in Cambodia & Vietnam
ARCC provides participants with the opportunity to volunteer by constructing and installing clean water filters for Cambodians in need. But that isn’t all you will do. Teach at a local school while helping low-income Cambodian villages. Cross over to Vietnam, where you will get to travel around Halong Bay while taking in the view of the karst mountains. Past participants enjoy the opportunity to help others and experience new cultures of two diverse countries.
3. Study under a rainforest canopyin Costa Rica
How does learning about ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability sound? Would it sound even more exciting in a rainforest? The Experiment in International Living stations participants at a biological station nestled in all the tropics that a living, breathing rain forest has to offer. Take some Spanish classes, delve into biodiversity topics, and make time for some zip-lining on the side. Learning while having fun is just one of the few positive reviews fellow travelers boost about.
4. Challenge yourself in New Zealand
Pure Exploration is exactly as it sounds – 12 weeks of intense adventure travel providing outdoor enthusiasts with training and newfound skills to last a lifetime. Past participants rave about the experiences and knowledge gained from this program. Perfect your outdoor survival skills and become a wilderness expert with this surreal adventure program.
5. Chase—and swim in—waterfalls in Costa Rica
Sustainable Action Costa Rica provides participants with an intensive 8-day program of putting social and environmental sustainability to use while adventuring with your group through zip-lining, hiking, and waterfall swimming. Join this program during a winter break, gap year, or any other travel excuse you can think of. This program includes opportunities for volunteering and hands-on NGO experiences to enhance your Costa Rica adventure.
6. Protect Mother Nature Love in New Zealand
With over 2,000 ongoing conservation projects, it might be hard to pick just one! A conservation program ideal for nature lovers, GoEco will have you volunteering in habitat restoration, seed collection, tree planting, and heritage restoration for at least four weeks. With a variety of tasks and the chance to hang with the locals, it’s a great way to give back to mother nature while exploring New Zealand.
7. Become a sanctuary volunteer in Thailand
Oyster Worldwide is a unique opportunity for animal lovers and conservationists alike. The program aims to conserve and protect birds, monkeys, gibbons, and sun bears (sounds adorable!). You’ll gain insider knowledge and hands-on experience with many species that desperately need your help. Bonus: You’ll actually live AT the sanctuary with other volunteers, waking up and falling asleep to the sweet call of the wild. Sign us up!
8. Join a wildlife research expedition in South Africa
GVI lets you get in the thick of things on a real wildlife research expedition…in South Africa no less! Participate in wildlife monitoring projects and learn how to track animals while living on a game reservation. The research you provide will be used for future conservation efforts in a country working to maintain natural resources and wildlife for future generations.
9. Wander temples in Thailand
The Experiment in International Living is highly rated by fellow travelers for its cultural experiences in Thailand. Create memories with your travel group while exploring street markets, visiting Buddhist temples, and learning the language. Best of all, you will get to experience life with a local family while living with a host family. Practice your newfound language skills in your new family or while you volunteer with a local NGO. Either way, life won’t look quite the same upon your return.
10. Road Trip to India
Join GoEco for a road trip through 4 Indian states! Of course, the trip won’t be complete without a stop at the Taj Mahal. Also included are a 2-day mountain trek, camel ride, jeep safari, cave exploration, and a cooking class! Participants also have the chance to volunteer for a week in the city of Goa. Past participants loved being able to see so much of India in only 4 weeks! What more can you ask for while visiting India?
11. History comes to life in Cuba
Rustic Pathways is the kind of adventure travel we all dream about. Take in Cuba by boat, horse, and foot while traveling to some of the countries’ most remote areas. For those brave souls, snorkel and take in some history at the infamous “Bay of Pigs”. Take a ride in a classic 1950s car or visit a national park. The experiences are all off the beaten path with a Rustic Pathways adventure.
12. Volunteer in a wildlife sanctuary in Johannesburg
GoEco welcomes volunteers for 2-12 weeks of work at a wildlife sanctuary. Help injured or orphaned animals hoping for a chance for the future. Some of the animals at the sanctuary include cheetahs, elephants, zebras, and others. Located just 40 minutes from Johannesburg, volunteers enjoy the ability to learn and work with animals, all while being close enough to explore one of South Africa’s most famous cities.
13. Salsa the night away in Cuba
Looking for the perfect adventure, but limited by time? For travelers short on time but still desiring some adventure, Discover Corps has the perfect weekend getaway in Cuba! Take in the nightlife with some salsa dancing and stroll through the Havana city square. Family-friendly trips are available, so bring the whole family along! Past travelers can’t get enough of their well planned and culture-rich trip to Cuba.
14. Teen travel, cultural immersion, and dance parties in Nepal
Embark upon one of the best places to travel for adventure with Putney Student Travel. Take in the Himalayan villages while serving local NGOs and community organizations in Nepal. Participate in a Buddhist meditation retreat and talk to Tibetan refugees about their culture and homeland. Hike the base of Mount Everest, while meeting locals and sampling locally grown teas. With a focus on community service and medication, you are sure to come back home with a newfound sense of self.
15. You’ll never tire of wine tasting in Argentina
Mente Argentina is the program to enroll in if you can’t get enough of that merlot. Participants will learn how wine is made, wine tasting techniques, food pairing strategies, and even some Spanish! During the program, participants will get to taste 50 Argentine and international wines. Choose between the intensive 2-week program, located in Buenos Aires, or the traditional one month program, with trips to Argentina’s wine country (including Mendoza!) With a focus on Argentine Malbec, participants will come away with a great deal of knowledge and a belly full of wine.
16. Empower women while volunteering in Nepal
Empower women in this rewarding community service program through GoEco. Learn about the lives of women living in Kathmandu, where women struggle with daily sexism and inequality. Volunteers have the pick of a variety of programs including teaching women computer skills, English, health, and safety, etc. While each of the programs will teach a valuable skill, volunteers are also encouraged to talk to the local women about the rights you have.
17. Become business savvy in India
Pave Internships offers a 10-day professional immersion for those looking to explore India’s business side. Learn how India is changing the economy and challenge yourself professionally with workshops, sightseeing, and engaging lessons. Gain in-depth international business knowledge, preparing you for a business career in the global economy. Participants will also visit Indian towns, learn about India’s legal system, and explore India’s vast history. Prepare for an experience unlike any other….and perhaps a job unlike any other.
18. Take in the Andes in Argentina
Say Hueque specializes in adventure travel in all of Argentina’s natural beauty. With flexible packages from 1-18 days, participants will be able to customize the cities and activities to make the most of their trip. It’s hard (but not impossible) to choose between visiting Buenos Aires, taking in the beauty of Iguazu National Park, witnessing the romance of Argentina’s cowboys (gauchos), visiting the famous Perito Moreno glacier, or taking in a tango show.
19. Preserve culture in Cambodia
Globalteer offers the chance to volunteer with the indigenous people of Cambodia. The Bunong people have been increasingly under threat by the outside world. As a participant, you will get to learn about the issues they face and help preserve their history. Assist local staff to document and record their culture of music, language, and traditions.
20. Pet, er, conserve (both?) koala bears as a volunteer in Australia
Frontier Programs offers a wide range of programs to satisfy anyone’s travel bug for Australia. Highly rated by travelers and low cost, programs such as conservation with Koala bears to surf camp are just a few of the options available with Frontier. Others you might just want to consider include a Sydney tour, fruit picking, sailing course, ethical conservation…we could keep going. Or you could check ‘em out for yourself!
These adventure trips are just scratching the surface
So, there you have it. 20 amazing trips for the truly adventurous at heart. While we would LOVE to fit all of these trips into our soon-to-be-completed travel itinerary, one may have to do for now. So pick wisely and remember, you can always revisit this list to find your top adventure trip.
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