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Top 10 Types of Adventure Travel

Ten Unforgettable Adventures

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Exploring any of these types of adventure travel will enrich your life, and the pictures from your trip will fill a scrapbook with lasting images. From scuba diving to mushing huskies, these examples of unforgettable adventure travel will open new worlds to you.

1. Floating Above the World in a Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons above Cappadocia, Turkey, in the early morning
(c) D Friedland

Peering down from the passenger basket of a hot air balloon gives you a bird's-eye of the scenery. Floating over an African veld as lions roam below is a popular way to celebrate an anniversary. The views you get while floating over the unique landscape in Cappadocia, Turkey, 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, and many other resort towns. With Buddy Bombard you can float over chateaus, historic towns and vineyards throughout Europe.

2. Traversing Between Trees on a Zip Line

Taking a zipline ride in Thailand
Tree Asia

Heart racing, you let go and zip from one tree to the other reaching nearly 35 miles an hour during the traverse. Called by some the hottest new adventure sport, on a zip-line tour you wear a climbing harness hooked to a steel cable, so you can traverse from tree to tree using pulleys. Click on Top Ziplines and Canopy Tours for an introduction to the many places around the world where you fly among the trees,or walk on Indiana Jones-style bridges from one tree to another. 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, B.C. Not sure what a zipline tour is? Click on How to Take a Zip-line tours and see how easy it is to start flying.

3. Hiking to Machu Picchu and in Colca Canyon, Peru

Exploring ancient cities in Peru on the way to Machu Picchu
(c) Lois Friedland

Hiking on tiny ledges weaving up and down 13,000-foot-high mountains, as you follow the ancient Inca trails in Peru, is a special way to enter Machu Picchu. Hiking in Colca Canyon, believed to be the deepest canyon in the world, is a wonderful experience because you also get to see the giant condors fly.

4. Vietnam is a Feast for the Eyes and Senses

A family rides on a motor scooter in Hanoi, Vietnam
(c) Lois Friedland

In Vietnam, vacationers bounce back and forth between noisy cities where 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 on the headline to read about some of the experiences you'll have in Vietnam. Click on images of Vietnam to see parts of the country.

5. Experiencing a Volunteer Vacation

Volunteer travel in Kenya with i-to-i Meaningful Travel
i-to-i Meaningful Travel

VolunTourism – combining traditional travel with volunteer work - takes travelers out of their normal environment or travel style,  and enhances a vacation.  Here's where to find organizations and tour operators that offer volunteer experiences for part of a trip,, or for the whole vacation.  If you're not sure if voluntourism is for you, take a look at How to Decide

6. Heli-Climbing and Heli-Skiing in the Rockies

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 heli-skiing trips, during the summer CMH Heli-Hiking offers mountaineering and hiking packages at its five lodges in the Canadian Rockies.

7. Scuba Diving Off the Shore on Australia Great Barrier Reef & in the Caribbean

Scuba Diving off Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Clint Hempsall

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 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.
You can walk off the shore and float in underwater coral gardens in the Caribbean, too. Click here to learn about Top Off Shore Diving in Bonaire, Curacao and the Cayman Islands.

8. Visiting Yellowstone National Park in the Winter

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. You photograph bison from the safety of your snow coach and watch wolf pups play. Click on the headline for the top 10 reasons to visit Yellowstone in the winter. Click on images of Yellowstone to see how this national park looks covered with snow.

9. Bring the Family to Meet Seals and Bears

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, seal watching from motorized Zodiaks and looking for black bears scrounging for crabs and clams. Austin-Lehman Adventures offers this Canadian trip every summer.

10. Mush Your Own Dog Sled Team

Whether you're tucked under a robe 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, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Snowmass, Colorado to Nome, Alaska. Wintergreen Dog Sledding up in Minnesota's north country has multi-day trips where you'll get to mush your own team.

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