50 Adventures to Have in Your Lifetime

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. 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


#1  Hike the Zion Narrows
#2  Haute Route/Tour du Mont Blanc
#3  Bolivia Salt Flats
#4  Raft the Colorado River
#5  Conquer the GR20
#6  Swim with Jellyfish in Palau
#7  Svalbard
#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
#24  Zip-Lining
#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
#32  Petra
#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
#39  Antarctica
#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
#47  Trolltunga
#48  Camino de Santiago
#49  All-American Road Trip
#50  Hike the Julian Alps

A man trekking at the Zion Narrows in Utah.
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.
A man staring at a mountain while trekking on the Haute Route.
This is one of the world’s premiere trekking routes. For 7 to 10 days, you hike around Mont Blanc through the Alps in Italy, France, and Switzerland. It’s a challenging route, with a total of 10,000 meters of ascent and descent, but you are rewarded with stunning mountain scenery and visits to quaint, alpine towns.
A jeep crossing the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia Salt Flats).

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.

Wide-angle view of the Colorado River and a bridge on it.
The Colorado River twists and turns through five national parks and a handful of state parks and national monuments. Take your pick from one-day adventures to multi-day excursions. Enjoy the experience as you drift through desert canyons and past some of the best scenery in the US.
An aerial view of the GR20 trekking route in the island of Corsica, France.
The GR20 has been touted as one of the toughest trekking routes in Europe. This trail spans the spine of the island of Corsica, France. It is not technically challenging but those who plan to hike this need to be very physically fit and ready to hike along rugged, uneven trails.
Jellyfish in Palau.

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?

A couple of men kayaking with snow-capped mountains in the background in Svalbard, Norway.
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.
A gorilla in the forest with its arm raised.
Trek through the steamy jungles in Rwanda or Uganda for an up close look at gorillas. It’s expensive and your time with the gorillas is short (you only get one hour on most excursions) but many people walk away from the experience awestruck.
A group of young trekkers in front of the Half Dome in Yosemite  Valley in Yosemite National Park, California

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.

Read more: Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, a Step-By-Step Guide

A colorful truck carrying freight on the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan.
Do you want to take on the most dangerous road trip on the planet? The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is the world’s highest paved highway, connecting China to Pakistan through the Himalayas. Not only is this journey dangerous but the landscape is spectacular.
A panoramic view of The Dolomites in Italy.
The Dolomites, located in Italy, are one of our favorite places in the world to go hiking. The landscapes are simply breathtaking, the trails are a blast, and some hikes add in a via ferrata or gondolas to really keep things interesting.
A man standing on a small rock between two larger rocks.

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

A panoramic view of Machu Picchu in Peru.
It’s one thing to arrive in Machu Picchu by bus or train, but it’s quite another to get there on your own two feet. You have multiple options to do this, including the classic 4 day Inca trail trek, the one day hike along the Inca trail, the Salkantay trek, and the Lares trek.
A greeting sign on top of the Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak) in Tanzania.

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?

A sea turtle at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Natural Wonders of the World, joining the list with sites like Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, and the Aurora Borealis (all of which also make our top 50 adventures list). This 2,300 kilometer long reef supports a wide range of wildlife, including fish, birds, sea turtles, and sharks. Swimming among the colorful, tropical fish and coral is an unforgettable experience.
A hiker traversing the mountains in Central Asia.
The mountainous landscapes of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan look breathtaking in their beauty. Both are a trekker’s paradise and we can’t decide which one we should visit first.
A sky filled with hot-air balloons over the rocky landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey
Soar over gorgeous landscapes, get a bird’s eye view of the world, and enjoy the peaceful journey by hot air balloon. It’s something worth experiencing at least once in your lifetime and it can easily be worked into many travel itineraries, especially if you are in the right spot.
Dry and barren landscape at the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with small, acid-green water bodies.

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.

Read more: The Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand’s Best Single Day Hike

Aerial view of the Havasu Falls waterfall in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States.

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.

A couple enjoying a camel ride in the desert.
Cross wind swept sand dunes, see stunning desert scenery, and journey away from the city lights into the desert, all while perched atop a camel. For a unique experience, book a multi-day camel trek, where you sleep under the stars or in tents in the desert.
A Galapagos Giant Tortoise staring at the lens.
Journey to the Galapagos Islands to see Giant Tortoises, marine iguanas, albatross, penguins, and Blue-footed boobies. What is the best way to see these animals? Get up close by snorkeling, kayaking, and diving or by volunteering with habitat restoration. You can even hike around Sierra Negra, the world’s second largest volcanic crater. It’s a trip of a lifetime.
Two statues of pharaohs in Egypt.
This is another experience of a lifetime. Journey back in time as you travel along the Nile River. Visit King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple on the East Bank of Luxor, Philae Temple in Aswan, and other ancient Egyptian sites.
Annapurna basecamp in Nepal.
This is often voted as the best long distance trekking route in the world. This trek takes you from warm, tropical Nepal up into the Himalayas on a trade route. As you ascend higher, the landscapes are simply breathtaking in their beauty. Getting to Thorong La Pass, at 5,416 meters (17, 770 feet), is the most difficult but most spectacular part of the journey.
A group of people waiting for their turn on the zipline in a rainforest jungle.
Tons of fun and with no technical experience required, zip-lining is perfect for almost all ages. Soar among the treetops and feel like you are flying over canyons, rivers, and stunning landscapes. It’s an exhilarating experience and the perfect activity to add into your travel itinerary if you are looking for pure fun.
A pack of dogs driving a sled in snow with two people on it.
Wouldn’t it be cool (literally!) to drive a team of dogs across a snowy landscape? You don’t have to race the entire Iditarod for this experience, there are companies that let you experience mushing for several hours. But if you want a real adventure, how about a multi-day journey camping or staying in lodges along the way.
A panoramic view of the Cordillera mountain group in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia.
Patagonia is a hiker’s paradise. The Cordillera del Paine is the diamond in the crown of Patagonia. In Torres del Paine National Park, there are numerous day hikes to choose from. Take your pick from the 5 day “W” trek or the longer “O” trek where you also get to hike around the backside of the Cordillera del Paine (and leave the crowds behind).
The Northern Lights shining in the sky.
The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is something that makes the bucket list of many travelers. Getting to see these lights requires traveling to the Arctic Circle during the right time of year and keeping your fingers crossed for clear skies and favorable conditions.
A boy and a man trekking in the mountains in New Zealand.
New Zealand is home to some amazing multi-day treks. You can hike along mountain ridges, through forests and beaches, and through some of the most stunning scenery in the world. These long distance treks are called “Great Walks” for very good reason…which one do you want to do?
A woman in a red top standing at the base of a seemingly giant tree.
The Amazon rainforest is one of most biodiverse regions in the world. It spans over 5 million square kilometers in 9 countries in South America. You can cruise down the Amazon River, visit the small towns in the Amazon basin, or stay in a reserve within the rainforest.
Angels Landing rock formation in the Zion National Park in Utah.

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: Angels Landing Survival Guide: Things to Know Before You Go

A group of hikers hiking up a glacier.
Strap on some crampons, grab an ice pick, and set off on a very cool adventure. This is like hiking, only now you are walking over crunchy blue ice through frozen landscapes, another unique experience to add to the bucket list!
Ancient architecture at Petra in Jordan.
That first glimpse of the Treasury from the Siq is a thrill. And there’s a lot more to do in Petra that just stare up at the Treasury (although that’s pretty awesome!). Hike up to the Monastery, climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice, or explore the hiking trails that take you away from the more touristy parts of Petra.

Read more: The Best Things to See in Petra

a Komodo Dragon staring at the lens in the Komodo National Park in Indonesia.
Komodo Dragons are giant lizards that roam several islands in Indonesia. Komodo National Park, which is located in between Bali and Flores Island, is the place that these prehistoric lizards call home. Strap on your hiking shoes and go trekking into the jungle in search of these miniature dinosaurs.
An aerial view of the Grand Canyon in the United States.
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.
a group of people in a cave

What is blackwater rafting, you ask? It’s a bit of a misnomer, but blackwater rafting is tubing down underground rivers in the semi-darkness. Sometimes, rappelling, rock climbing, and zip-lining are combined into the experience. It’s very unique and there are only a few spots in the world where you can do this.

Learn More: Waitomo Caves: Glowworms, Blackwater Rafting & the Best Tours

A group of wildebeest in a dried up part of the jungle.
Watching the wildebeest migration is one of nature’s most raw and dramatic events. Every year, the wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti to Masaai Mara in search of water and food. The highlight of the journey are the river crossings, where crocodiles patiently wait, submerged underwater, ready to bring down the wildebeest as they enter the water.
Snow-peaked mountains and a small lake at the fore with turquoise-blue water in Peru.
If you want to hike among one of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in the world, put the Huayhuash Circuit high on your list. This 8 to 12 day trek takes you through stunning alpine landscapes in Peru, where you will hike past mountain lakes, snow-capped mountains, and some of the highest peaks in South America. It’s strenuous and difficult, but sometimes the best experiences are also the most challenging.
A panoramic view of the Tiger's Nest in Bhutan.
The Tiger’s Nest is a Buddhist monastery perched on the side of a cliff, 900 meters off of the ground. It is a long climb to get here, but oh, what a view. Prayer flags are waving in the air and you can smell the incense and hear the Buddhist monks in prayer.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

A colony of penguins standing on the snow with a singular penguin at the forefront.
Antarctica…the last great wilderness. This is the land of icebergs, penguins, and raw, arctic landscapes. It’s one of the best destinations in the world if you seek adventure. Kayak among icebergs, visit penguin colonies, go whale watching, hiking, and mountaineering, and even take a plunge into the icy waters…if you dare!
A group of climbers climbing a tall rock formation with the ocean in the background.
Defy gravity and scale a rocky cliff. Not only is it a thrill, and a sense of accomplishment to get to the top of the climb, but you are rewarded with unique views from the top of the climb.
A shark swimming in the sea.
Swimming in shark infested waters…this is another “do you dare?” type of adventure. Hotspots include Beqa Lagoon, Fiji (for tiger sharks), Isla Mujeres, Cancun (for whale sharks), Cocos Island, Costa Rica (hammerheads and white tip sharks), and Gansbaai, South Africa (for great white shark cage diving).
A group of tourists rests while walking on the Great Wall of China.

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: Hiking Jiankou to Mutianyu on the Great Wall of China

A family of four with a racecar in front.
Wouldn’t it be really cool to drive a race car? Well, you can! For the ultimate adrenaline rush, drive a dragster at 130 mph or drive a NASCAR race car on a premier raceway.
A family of four waves at the camera at the Mount Everest Base Camp with snow in the background.
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes those willing to do it through some of the most gorgeous terrain in the world.  Hike among the Himalayas, spin the prayer wheels, and visit Buddhist monasteries on the way. This is the trip of a lifetime.

Read more: Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal

A woman in a purple jacket prepares to Bungy jump, while the guide in the back waves at the camera.
Attach yourself to a giant rubberband and throw yourself off of a bridge. Sounds like fun, right? Bungy jumping is five seconds of terror, exhilaration, and pure craziness. If you want the biggest adrenaline rush ever, add bungy jumping to your adventure bucket list.

Read more: A Tale of Four Bungy Jumps

Lush green views of the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii with the ocean in the background.
Maybe this is just a reason to add Hawaii to the list, but the Kalalau Trail is labeled as one of the most beautiful and most dangerous hikes in the world. Located on the island of Kauai, hike along the gorgeous coastal landscape of the Napali Coast.
A person on the edge of the Trolltunga (Troll's Tongue) in Norway.
Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most popular hikes for good reason. It is an incredibly scenic hike, ending at the Troll’s tongue, a thin sliver of rock perfect for creative photographs. This is definitely a hike to add to your bucket list.

Read more: Hiking to Trolltunga: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Experience

A trekker on the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, Spain.
The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. There are numerous routes to get here, however, the most popular is the French Way (Camino Frances), starting in St Jean Pied de Port and ending 790km (490 miles) later in Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Frances takes you through quaint villages and the more lively cities of Pamplona, Logrono (the capital city of the Rioja wine region), and Leon. As you immerse yourself in the culture of northern Spain and make friends with other pilgrims along the way, this no doubt is an experience of a lifetime.
A long two-lane road surrounded on either side by shrubs and plantations and rock formations in the background.
The American southwest is one of the USA’s best road trip destinations. There are the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon, thrilling hiking trails in Zion National Park, and millions of hoodoos to photograph in Bryce Canyon. Are you getting excited yet? The list keeps going, with the sweeping views of Monument Valley, dusty, off-road adventures in Grand Staircase-Escalante, and numerous slot canyons to scramble through.

Read more: 10 Days in the American Southwest: The Ultimate Road Trip

A group of hikers trekking with a small mountain the background in Julian Alps, Slovenia.

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.

The best travel adventures to experience by Earth Trekkers.

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