It's time to shake things up and indulge your wanderlust with some fun adventure travel! Whether you want to sail along the Turkish coast, go on safari in Tanzania, backpack into the Grand Canyon, or take a hike in the incredible tropical forests of Costa Rica, we can help you plan a great adventure travel trip for less. Go solo, travel with a small group, or take the entire family along on an adventure tour of your choice: just get out and go! We've researched some national parks, a lush tropical spot, as well as the highest peak in the American Northeast to whet your appetite for adventure. Think adventure travel always has to involve the wilderness or feats of derring-do? Hardly. There are plenty of calmer (though just as much fun) pursuits, including car camping, meandering day hikes in the forest, and strolls along coastal trails. So gear up for inspiration, adventure, and excitement ahead!
Not sure where to go for the best adventure travel vacation? Check out our destination ideas below. Then, enter your details into our FareFinder to find value travel options.
For a grand adventure trip, you can't beat Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is the most famous of national parks and with its outstanding sightseeing, outdoor activities, geologic history and more, it's no wonder it was once called "The Incomparable Valley." This vast wilderness has miles of rivers, lakes, peaks, valleys, spectacular waterfalls, and some of the world's largest trees. The park has four main entrances: Big Oak Flat, Tioga Pass, Arch Rock, and Wawona. The center of activity, Yosemite Valley, contains the area's most famous monuments, including El Capitàn, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls.
Camping in the endless "tent cities" in the valley tends to fill up quickly for the summer, so be sure to make reservations as far in advance as possible. To really avoid the crowds, go during the winter months. The elegant 1927 Ahwahnee Lodge stays booked all winter, but there is space elsewhere in the park, and you can see the picturesque sequoia hung with snow. The state's oldest ski resort, Badger Pass Ski Area, offers Alpine skiing, snowboarding, and a family atmosphere. Go ice skating in Curry Village, where you can skate in a groomed outdoor rink encircled by snow-covered pines with a view of the majestic Half Dome towering above.
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The expansive grandeur of Alaska has always attracted adventure travelers. The mountains, wildlife, glaciers, and sense of mystical wilderness that surrounds the state make it one of the most popular adventure travel destinations in the world. You can see brown bears, kayak past glaciers, and marvel at sweeping tundra vistas. Denali National Park and Preserve offers visitors easy access to real wilderness. It's a pristine natural environment where animals live in a nearly complete ecosystem. In addition to the abundant wildlife, adventure travelers can see the North America's tallest mountain, Mount McKinley.
The road to the interior park depot of Kantishna is closed to cars, so bring or rent a bike for a terrific ride. Several narrated tours of the park are available, the most popular being the Tundra Wilderness Tour. The tours travel from the boreal forests through tundra to the Toklat River. Make sure to look down as well - over 450 species of flowering plants fill the park, and in the summer, they can be viewed in full bloom. You'll see goldenrod, fireweed, lupine, and gentian in the valleys of Denali.
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Costa Rica is one of the hottest and most affordable destinations in Latin America for vacation and adventure travel. It's a place rich in natural wonders and biodiversity. Its "rich coast" is home to six percent of the world's plant and animal species. You can find all kinds of landforms here: volcanoes, jungles and jungle rivers for rafting and kayaking, hot springs, coral reefs, hidden caves, rainforests for hiking, deserted islands. Hike to the top of the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripó, for simultaneous views of the Caribbean and the Pacific in Chirripó National Park, or snorkel through the largest reef on the Caribbean coast in Cahuita.
You might want to kick back and lounge in a secluded beach in Playa Hermosa, or check out the internationally-renowned Corcovado National Park, famous for its biodiversity and abundance of wildlife. Corcovado is also a goldmine for bird enthusiasts, as it holds several hundred bird species. Several big cats, including jaguars, ocelots, and cougars also call the park their home. Even the most adventuresome traveler may feel like being a beach bum after all this activity. Get to Samara Beach to relax on warm, white sand beaches and dip into beautiful blue waters. It's popular with swimmers and an ideal beach for kids.
It's a place of raw beauty that is sure to live up to the expectations of even the most seasoned adventure traveler. Each year, millions of people from across the globe come to visit the great 277-mile gorge of the Colorado River. Grand Canyon National Park is divided into three sections: the easy-access, and therefore popular, South Rim, the calmer North Rim, and the canyon gorge itself. Between the National Park area and Lake Mead, Nevada are the Hualapai and Havasupai Reservations, which offer separate entrances into the Canyon. Most of the activities available to visitors in the warm months are available in the winter months as well.
If you're planning to do an overnight hike into the canyon, make sure to heed the warnings of rangers. For hiking, the corridor trails such as The Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails are close to the visitor services at Grand Canyon Village and lead to campgrounds at Indian Garden and Phantom Ranch. Besides hiking and camping, there is also whitewater rafting, mule trips, and flightseeing. A recent addition to the Park is the Skywalk, a cantilevered glass semicircular walkway that juts out 70 feet over the canyon. The Hualapai Indian tribe owns much of the land on the western rim of the canyon and is behind the development of the Skywalk. Also in the works in this area are plans for a visitors center, museum, gift shop, and restaurants.
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The true adventure traveler might want to brave the tallest mountain in the northeastern United States, the 6288 ft. Mount Washington in New Hampshire. But take heed: it's one of the most dangerous mountains in the world because of its highly unpredictable weather, including wind speeds that can reach hurricane force. On a clear day though, hikers can see a view of five states and Canada from the mountain's peak. Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire's easternmost mountain pass, lies in the shadow of Mt Washington.
Hike the popular Tuckerman Ravine Trail, which stretches from behind the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center all the way up to the summit of Mt. Washington. On the other side of the notch, the Wildcat Range is a popular objective. For less challenging hikes that are equally scenic, try Glen Ellis Falls, a waterfall on the Ellis River, and Square Ledge. For runners, Mt. Washington is host to the Mount Washington Road Race every June.
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