It’s a new year, so why not kick it off in style by injecting a little adventure on your next trip? Whether you want to scuba dive in an underwater cavern or heli-ski on a massive glacier, there’s an adrenaline-fueled adventure with your name on it. Push your limits — and get a great workout while you’re at it! Here are some amazing adventure vacations to consider.
1. Bike Beside Terraced Rice Paddies in Bali
The Indonesian island of Bali is known for its Insta-worthy terraced rice paddies, ancient Hindu temples, and beautiful beaches — all of which you’ll see while on a Backroads bicycle tour. When you’re not pedaling, you’ll be meeting a mask-maker in Ubud, the island’s cultural heart; taking a private cooking class; and rafting the Ayung River.
2. Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland
At Iceland’s ION Adventure Hotel, an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, spend your days trekking across glaciers, fly-fishing in remote rivers, and discovering Gullfoss Falls and other natural wonders in nearby Thingvellir National Park. After a massage in the Lava Spa, keep your eye out for those elusive Northern Lights from the comfort of hotel’s outdoor geothermal hot tub.
3. See Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
If you’ve dreamed of seeing the mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, make 2019 the year! On African Travel’s week-long safaris, expert guides will lead treks along jungle trails to meet some of these magnificent primates. Uganda, named on Fodor’s Go List for 2019, is also home to mountains, waterfalls, and eco-lodges.
4. Heli-Ski on a Glacier in Canada
For an adrenaline-pumping alpine adventure, head to Canada to heli-ski in the mountains of Whistler (a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver). Through Whistler Heli-Skiing, experienced skiers and boarders can get dropped off, James Bond-style, by chopper, and schuss down untouched glaciers (available from December through April each year).
5. Go Camel Trekking in Jordan
Explore Jordan, named of Lonely Planet‘s top countries to visit in 2019, through Flashpack, a small-group adventure company geared to solo travelers. In addition to a sunrise camel trek, the trip includes major bucket-list moments, such as floating in the Dead Sea, hiking a secret route to the ancient stone city of Petra, and glamping in the Wadi Rum desert.
6. White Water Rafting on the Colorado River
For a hair-raising adventure down the mighty Colorado River, sign up for a whitewater rafting trip with Western River Expeditions. Its 4-day Cataract Canyon trip goes through Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, known for its stunning red-rock formations. You’ll camp on the riverbank, eat meals prepared by guides, and take a scenic flight back to Moab.
7. Hike Ireland’s Most Scenic Coastal Routes
You’re in for some spectacular scenery during an REI Adventures hiking trip to Ireland. Highlights include walks through the Wicklow Mountains, along coastal footpaths to the Cliffs of Moher, and over emerald hills in Killarney National Park. There’ll be time for stops at castle, monasteries, market towns, and, of course, cozy pubs for a few well-earned pints.