If you crave adrenaline-filled activities you are probably always on the lookout for a destination that will match your expectations. The good news is that there is no shortage of vacations for the outdoor traveler that likes their spirit of adventure tested to the maximum. I had some crazy experiences on the road in 2014 (as ever) including the mental Bolas del Fuego (Fireball Festival) in El Salvador. Here’s 4 nuts locations for 2015!
1. The Ozark Mountains, USA
The Ozarks in Missouri, which also extend into Arkansas, are a great destination for adrenaline lovers, not least because of the range of activities on offer. You might not necessarily think that angling is an activity to get the adrenaline pumping, but people who have fished in the Ozarks would suggest it is. The prospect of catching largemouth bass and catfish out of the region’s rushing waters is bound to set the pulse racing. Those same waters offer the thrill of tubing, scuba diving, and wakeboarding. The Ozarks offer stunning scenery too, including the beautiful waterfalls in Dogwood Canyon Nature Park as well as spectacular caverns with their underground riverbed. The Ozarks have become increasingly popular as a tourist destination and there is no shortage of places to stay, from Eureka Springs in Arkansas, with its quaint Victorian architecture, to Branson in Missouri, famous for its entertainment theaters.
2. Las Vegas
The gambling mecca is not the first place that would strike an adrenaline junkie to visit, but it is home to the Big Shot Ride. Located on the Stratosphere observation tower, which stands 110 stories high, the Big Shot Ride uses compressed air to project you at a phenomenal speed from the base to the top of a 49-meter tower in a little over two seconds. You might think that is an adrenaline craver’s dream come true, and you would probably be right. Las Vegas is famous for its gambling and a trip down the Strip is not to be missed, but outside of the city there is no shortage of activities for the adventurous minded. The sand dunes circling the city provide the perfect environment for racing dune buggies and it is possible to hire them for a thrilling drive around the dunes. For dramatic scenery and an adrenaline rush of a different kind, you can hire a helicopter to take you over the spectacular Grand Canyon. Vegas is a year-round destination and its popularity with visitors means that flights to the city and accommodation once you get there are both plentiful.
3. Acapulco, Mexico
The Mexican beach destination is a popular venue for parasailing – the activity was actually invented there. That will come as no surprise if you travel to Acapulco because you will find a location that offers spectacular views from the air, including of the local hills and the islands that lie beyond the bay. Parasailing is perfectly safe, but up in the air you do get the thrill that comes from an activity that feels more than a little edgy. Acapulco is also famous for its cliff diving. Juan N. Alvarez International Airport has connections to both domestic and international airports.
4. War Zone Tours, Northern Ireland
Slightly tongue in cheek here but never losing their appeal, the tour of the divided cities of Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland are a political eye opener. Catholic estates have Irish tricolours and pictures of Irish heroes. The staunch Protestant and Unionist estates have Ulster flags, British flags and symbols and pictures of British heroes!
Adventure vacations can take a number of different forms and, as has been demonstrated, are not necessarily limited to the type of outdoor activities you would normally associate them with, so get planning your next adventure without delay, it’s 2015 tomorrow guys and girls!
Happy new year and safe travels!