5 Natural Attractions Guaranteed to Give You an Adrenaline Rush

young man doing a backflip off a cliff into the ocean

Cliff Jumping at Waimea Bay on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii

We typically associate the word “vacation” with rest and relaxation.  Thoughts of lazy afternoons with a bit of sight seeing or shopping here and there may come to mind. But for some, a vacation serves a completely different purpose – thrill seeking. There is a growing pocket of the tourism industry called “extreme tourism” and it is centered around the thrill of doing dangerous or daring activities (and the adrenaline rush that comes with them.) Here’s a look at some extreme vacation destinations that range from adventurous to completely insane.

1. The Grand Canyon Skywalk – Arizona

Walk Off a 4,770-foot Cliff!

The Grand Canyon is a great experience on its own, but the Skywalk offers a new twist on this famous destination.  The Skywalk is a stretch of glass shaped like the letter “U” that hangs out over the edge of the canyon.  Those brave enough to conquer the fear of heights can look down on the immense drop below.  The Skywalk itself is elevated at 4,770 feet, but most grand canyon air tours can get you to the top easily.

people standing on the grand canyon skywalk in arizona

It’s only scary if you look down…

Photo by Bryan Woychuk.

Waterfall at the Grand Canyon

A waterfall at the Grand Canyon

Photo by gabri_micha
 

2. The White Sea, Russia

Scuba dive under the ice!

Ice diving is similar to diving under normal conditions, but it carries the added risk involved with having only one entry and exit point.  Ice diving is popular in the Russian White Sea, where divers cut open a small patch of ice and jump in.  Divers must take special care to tether themselves to the surface, where a partner must monitor the tether to keep the diver from getting lost or tangled under the ice.

divers standing around an opening in the ice at the white sea in russia

Entry / Exit Point in the Ice

Beluga Whale

Beluga whales are common in the White Sea

Photo by Obra Social CAM
 

3. The Devil’s Pool – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Swim at the edge of a waterfall!

Located at Victoria Falls in South Africa, the Devil’s Pool is one of the most dangerous places to swim due to the steep waterfall at the edge of the pool.  The pool is naturally formed between September and December by a barrier of rocks, but the barrier is very shallow and it is easy to fall over the edge of the waterfall if you are not careful.

Victoria Falls

You can swim near the rocks at the top of the falls if you dare…

Photo by Tony Mendez
 

4. The Villarrica Volcano – Chile

Bungee jump into an active volcano!

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like.  Extreme thrill seekers can go bungee jumping directly into the lava crater of the Villarrica volcano located in Southern Chile.  Those brave enough (or crazy enough) to attempt this stunt will fly to the top of  the volcano in a helicopter, and jump into the volcano below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ7bJ5a1l2k

 

smoky crater of  villarrica volcano

Would you want to bungee jump off a helicopter into an active volcano?

Photo by Breen Jones.
 

 

5. The Hiking Trail at Mt. Huashan – China

Walk the plank! If you dare…

Mt. Huashan is located in the southern Shaanxi province of China, and is one of China’s Five Great Mountains.  There are many temples and other religious structures distributed throughout the mountain, but the path there can be perilous; most of the paths are extremely narrow planks on the face of the mountain.

Planks on the Huashan mountain

Looks legit…

Photo by Ianz
Travelers on the Huanshan mountain

Seriously, don’t look down.

Photo by Ianz

 

Of course, many of these activities should only be attempted at your own risk, but for those who are on a never ending quest for thrills, these hot spots can provide the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.

Main Image Source: Photo by Steven Allen.
 

Do you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie? Have you ever tried any of these terror-iffic activities? Would you want to? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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