Looking to do something radical and unforgettable in 2015? Here are some ideas for bucket list-worthy experiences to make your best trip yet.
1. Rafting The Futaleufú River In Chile
Offering challenging Class 5 rapids while also immersing you in Andes Mountain scenery, rafting the Futaleufú River in Chile is not for the faint of heart. That being said, for those who embark on the journey it’s truly the trip of a lifetime. Not to mention the glacial waters of the river are an ironic mix of serenity and terror.
2. Bike Bolivia’s Death Road
Often touted as the world’s most dangerous road, cycling Bolivia’s Death Road is a must for adrenaline junkies visiting this adventure-packed South American country. The road was originally built by prisoners of war from Paraguay in 1932. Before 2006, Death Road was the only connection between La Paz and the jungle, with about 25 cars and two bikes per year falling over the edge — you’ll even see roadside memorials dedicated to those who lost their lives on the trail along the road. Luckily, the road is much safety nowadays — as long as you go with a reputable outfitter (I recommend Vertigo Biking Co. Bolivia) — and offers a scenic and slightly scary journey that ends with a decadent buffet and time to cool down at a resort pool. It’s truly an experience you won’t forget.
3. Swimming With Sharks In The Galapagos Islands
I’m not a big fan of shark cage diving where the waters are chummed, as I don’t view this as a sustainable tourism practice; however, for those who want to swim with sharks, there is a more natural experience to be had in the Galapagos Islands. From San Cristobal Island it’s possible to board and snorkeling and diving boat to journey out to Kicker Rock, where hammer heads, Galapagos sharks, blacktip sharks and white tip sharks abound. You’ll jump in with nothing but a life preserver (optional) and goggles to swim with these terrifying — but surprisingly not dangerous — creatures. Just note that you 100% should NOT go in the water if you are bleeding whatsoever, as this will attract the sharks to bite you. When I did this there was one girl on my boat who got a small cut on her foot, and even with water shoes and a bandage the dive instructor told her it would be a really bad idea for her to go in the water.
4. Go On A Remote Safari In Botswana’s Linyanti Reserve
For an unforgettable safari experience that’s a bit off the beaten path, visit Botswana’s Linyanti Reserve. Encompassing 125,000 hectares (308,000 acres), lagoons, rivers, grasslands, palm islands and woodland play home to a wide array of exotic wildlife: zebra, elephants, cheetahs, wild dogs, wildebeest, hippos, leopards, buffalo, antelope, hyenas and numerous bird species, including giant ostrich.
5. Trek The Adventurous Caminito Del Rey In Spain
The Caminito del Rey is not for the faint of heart. Touted as the most dangerous walkway in the world, the Caminito del Rey reaches heights of over 100 meters (350 feet). This wouldn’t be so bad if the trail was in good condition; however, the Caminito del Rey is in complete disrepair, a narrow catwalk jutting out from limestone cliffs over a river. At points you’ll need to cling to stone for dear life, balance over skinny metal beams, rock climb, balance on high-perched stones and just try not to fall — all while staring down at some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. While you’ll undoubtedly have sweaty palms and a racing heart, the good news is you can strap yourself into a rope and carabiner system. Note: While I frequently write about solo travel on Jessie on a Journey, this is an excursion I highly DO NOT recommend doing by yourself.
6. Visit An Underwater Museum
One of the world’s most unique museums is undoubtedly Truk Lagoon, which one can visit from the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. During World War II, Americans attacked this area and sunk 12 warships and 32 merchant ships — not to mention obliterated 249 airplanes and helicopters. Today, divers can explore these waters via the SS Thorfinn, exploring 70+ different dive sites with sunken ships, submarines, Jeeps, helicopters and more. It’s pretty wild to swim through the wrecks and see the artifacts left down– which also include live ammunitionion!
What’s on your bucket list for 2015? Please share in the comments below.