Walk on the Great Wall of China, swim with sharks, chase the northern lights…what’s on your travel bucket list? We picked out 50 unforgettable adventures that we plan to have in our lifetime. We hope this list inspires you, as well.
Tim and I spent months, years even, brainstorming this list. We wanted to come up with 50 travel-related adventures that not only sounded exciting to us, but are also doable for many people.
We know what it is like to have limited time to travel (Tim works a full-time job and we have two kids in school). So we wanted to include a good mix of life-changing multi-day adventures with spine-tingling, adrenaline rushes that can be done in a few days or less.
There are hundreds of activities we could have added to this list. It was very difficult narrowing it down to just 50…but here they are. 50 adventures we plan to do in our lifetime…want to join us?
Our 50 Adventures
COMPLETED | IN THE WORKS
#1 Hike the Zion Narrows
#2 Tour du Mont Blanc
#3 Bolivia Salt Flats
#4 Raft the Colorado River
#5 Conquer the GR20
#6 Swim with Jellyfish in Palau
#8 Gorilla Trekking
#9 Hike Half Dome
#10 Drive the Karakoram Highway
#11 Hike the Dolomites
#12 Stand on Kjeragbolten
#13 Hike to Machu Picchu
#14 Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
#15 Great Barrier Reef
#16 Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan
#17 Hot Air Balloon Flight
#18 Tongariro Alpine Crossing
#19 Havasu Falls
#20 Camel Safari
#21 Galapagos Islands
#22 Journey Down the Nile River
#23 Annapurna Circuit
#25 Dog Sledding
#26 Torres del Paine
#27 Aurora Borealis
#28 Tramping in New Zealand
#29 The Amazon
#30 Angels Landing
#31 Hike on a Glacier
#33 Komodo Dragons in the Wild
#34 Hike Grand Canyon Rim to Rim
#35 Blackwater Rafting
#36 See the Wildebeest Migration
#37 Huayhuash Circuit
#38 Hike to Tiger's Nest
#40 Rock Climbing
#41 Swim with Sharks
#42 Hike the Great Wall of China
#43 Drive a Racecar
#44 Everest Base Camp Trek
#45 Bungy Jumping
#46 Kalalau Trail
#48 Camino de Santiago
#49 All-American Road Trip
#50 Hike the Julian Alps
For millions of years, the Virgin River has been carving its way through layers of rock, forming the Zion Narrows. This canyon twists and turns for miles, creating one of the most unique hiking trails in the world. This is the quintessential slot canyon hike, with towering canyon walls, turquoise water, and gorgeous views every step of the way.
The Bolivia Salt Flats, also called Salar de Uyuni, is the world’s largest salt flat. It’s also one of the most surreal landscapes in the world. In March and April, the salt flats are covered with a few inches of standing water, creating an extraordinary, reflective landscape. During the remaining months, you can witness a vast, white landscape as far as the eye can see.
Float in the emerald water of a lake in Palau, completely surrounded by millions of jellyfish. It sounds crazy, right? Palau’s Jellyfish Lake is home to a population of jellyfish with a sting so mild you barely feel it (so I have read). But wouldn’t that be wild, swimming among these soft, golden jellyfish in the tropical paradise of Palau?
Svalbard is a Norwegian island that sits on the northernmost region of the globe, not far from the North Pole. You can’t find penguins here, but if you’re lucky, you can see polar bears and walrus. Travel here if you want to kayak among glaciers, go hiking, sled dogging, or snowmobiling.
Half Dome is one of Yosemite’s most challenging and most memorable hikes. The best part is the final climb on the Half Dome cables. Not only do you get the thrill of clinging to the side of Half Dome, you also get to enjoy one of the best views of Yosemite from the top of the dome.
Hiking to Kjeragbolten, this giant boulder wedged between two cliffs, is our favorite hike of all time. Why? It’s not just because you get the chance to do something absolutely crazy, stepping out onto the boulder, it’s also because this hike is just downright fun. Do you dare?
Read More: The Complete Guide to Kjeragbolten
Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Getting to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro (5,888 meters, 19,318 feet) is a popular bucket list item for many travelers and adventurers. This climb is popular since little technical experience is required and the experience is amazing. Do you want to stand on top of Mount Kilimanjaro?
Labeled as the best single day hike in New Zealand, some people even consider this hike to be the best single day hike in the world. Here is your chance to hike in the shadow of Mt. Doom, walk through an almost lunar landscape, and watch as semi-dormant volcanoes smoke just a short distance from the trail.
Havasu Falls is a gorgeous oasis in the desert. The turquoise waters, roaring waterfalls, and orange and red sandstone cliffs are what make Havasu Falls simply fabulous. To get here, it’s a 10-mile hike one way, but your reward, and the whole reason for going on this adventure, is to spend a day, or two (or three!) exploring the waterfalls, swimming, and enjoying this awesome spot in the American southwest.
Angels Landing is the most popular hike in Zion National Park. The final climb of the hike involves scaling a narrow ridge high above the valley floor. With chain-assisted rock scrambling sections, stunning views, and vertigo-inducing heights, this really is a thrilling hike.
Read more: The Best Things to See in Petra
Sure, it’s an awesome experience to see panoramic views of the Grand Canyon from an overlook. But if you really want an adventure, how about hiking from the North Rim, down to the Colorado River, and then back up to the South Rim? This is a long, challenging hike but it is an epic journey through one of the world’s most famous landscapes.
What is black water rafting, you ask? It’s a bit of a misnomer, but black water rafting is tubing down underground rivers in the semi-darkness. Sometimes, rappelling, climbing, and zip-lining is combined into the experience. It’s very unique and there are only a few spots in the world where you can do this.
The Great Wall of China makes it onto many traveler’s bucket lists, but to add some adventure to the visit, hike or camp on an unrestored section of the wall. You can do this as a day trip from Beijing or you can spend several days camping and trekking along the Great Wall.
Read more: Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal
Read more: A Tale of Four Bungy Jumps
Triglav National Park, with it’s rugged, rocky mountain range, glacial lakes, and river gorges, is a playground for hikers and outdoor adventurers. Climbing to the top of Mt. Triglav, the centerpiece of the Julian Alps, takes two days and requires the use of rock climbing gear. For those with less time, take you pick from one of many stunning day hikes in the Julian Alps.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.