Adventure travel is experiencing an uptick in recent years because of two major factors: A. social media has made more people become risk-takers to impress their followers, and B., with more people looking to unplug and get away from screens, they’re seeking tranquility in nature and real-life experiences — very much including once-in-a-lifetime thrills. Does either one sound like you?

According to a survey conducted by Statista, you’re not alone. Statista defined “adventure tourism” as including “a variety of air, water, and land activities such as mountaineering, hiking, scuba diving, and river rafting, among others.” They also forecast this industry to grow in the coming years, peaking in 2030.

Depending on your personal interests, there are a number of epic locations you can consider for your next trip. Maybe your idea of an adventure is ziplining through a vast canopy of lush greenery in Peru, or bundling up and doing some whale watching in Iceland. Stay with us, because we’re going to be spinning the globe to put you onto the best adventure destinations the world over.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

Sunlight hitting Machu Picchu in Peru.

Machu Picchu is an ancient citadel residing within a tropical forest at the edge of the Andes Mountains in South America. It’s one of the oldest architectural sites of the Incan civilization and is veiled in mystery. The Machu Picchu site contains an estimated 200 unique structures, including terraces, extensive roads and canals, and agricultural and astronomical areas designed for human use. Lush landscape surrounds the cultural site and can be an excellent day trip while visiting Peru.

You can trek through Incan ruins that lead the way to this “Lost City of the Incas.” Trekkers can arrive at Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail: a 26-mile passageway and multi-day trek that takes backpackers through mountains and ancient ruins, culminating at Machu Picchu. The lush scenery is sure to captivate your senses. Experience wildlife and changing landscapes, such as mountains, forests, and even glaciers on your journey.

2. Vancouver, Canada

Areial view of Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.

Vancouver is a popular destination in Canada. This urban area offers a mix of different cultures, natural parks and gardens, beaches, and plenty of recreational activities, such as Capilano Suspension Bridge Park pictured above. Some popular attractions include the seawall and Stanley Park. At the seawall, you can enjoy biking or a scenic stroll. Stanley Park is the largest park of its kind in Vancouver, and you can enjoy the natural, stunning scenery, visit the aquarium, or hop on the Stanley Park Train for a guided tour.

Vancouver itself is a bustling city with 22 districts. When choosing your accommodations, you may want something in the middle of it all or something quiet you can retreat to at the end of the day. Some other popular areas people enjoy are the West End district and the downtown Kitsilano neighborhood. The West End is the most populated of the districts and lives up to the “bustling city” phrase. Enjoy the hum of downtown and access a number of restaurants and local shops.

In Kitsilano — known as “Kits” to the locals — you can check out the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival or Greek Day, or discover local history and heritage at the Vancouver Maritime Museum or Museum of Vancouver. Then, depending on the time of year, either hit the slopes at Cypress Mountain or Whistler Blackcomb. Or see if you have what it takes to best “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” — a.k.a the Grouse Grind — on nearby Grouse Mountain.

3. Milford Track, New Zealand

Scenery in New Zealand.

Popular with hikers, Milford Track in New Zealand delivers “the finest walk in the world.” Visitors can trek through ancient forests and witness striking waterfalls. Although open year-round, the Fiordland National Park recommends October to April for first-timers and all other months for experienced hikers equipped with the right hiking equipment for snow and other hazards.

Located within the Fiordland region, visitors can pick from a variety of tracks. Beginners can enjoy the graveled path of Tuatapere Scenic Reserve Loop or the leisurely path of the Visitor Centre to Ivon Wilson Recreation Reserve Walk. Those looking for a challenge can take on Milford or Pass Creek Track.

4. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

View of the Grand Canyon at sunset.

Travelers flock to the Grand Canyon in droves, and for good reason. This national park is a geologic wonder and delivers miles of scenic beauty for visitors. While visiting this national treasure, cross some items off your bucket list. Visit the Hot Spring Trail near Lake Mead or go scuba diving inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, or whitewater rafting in the Colorado River.

For the ultimate Grand Canyon experience, choose a nearby vacation rental. Many accommodations are less than 10 miles from the park, so you can avoid spending a lot of time driving to and from and, instead, enjoy the captivating scenery of the Grand Canyon.

5. The Dolomites, Italy

A view of the Dolomites in Italy

The Dolomites Mountain Range is a part of the Italian Alps and features some of the most gorgeous geographic landforms found in Europe. The cliffs of the range supply ample advanced rock climbing opportunities for experienced climbers. Also not to be missed are the emerald-colored waters of the Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee). This famous alpine lake in Italy is a known photographer hotspot so you can get some photos for your collection.

6. Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska skyline.

Alaska is home to a number of wild outdoor adventures. Enjoy a canoeing tour, dog sledding, a memorable Northern Lights tour, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are many adventure destinations and things you can do while visiting Anchorage.

Anchorage supplies plenty of outdoor adventure with the added convenience of an urban lifestyle. Here, you can experience the natural wonders of the state, such as sea wildlife and glaciers, or enjoy the vibrant art and culture scene. Stroll through downtown’s public art collection, soak in traditional Alaskan art at the Anchorage Museum, and settle down to a delicious meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

7. Patagonia, South America

A rocky vista in Patagonia in Argentina.

People enjoy visiting this southern end of the continent because of its abundance of natural scenery and adventure. Because of its southernmost location, this area is termed the “End of the World” and is near the Arctic region of the globe. Bordering Chile and Argentina, you can take part in some of the best adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and paragliding, over the nearby Andes Mountain range.

8. Kauai, Hawaii

Dramatic, colorful mountains along Kauai.

The island of Kauai is sometimes referred to as the “Garden Island.” Because of the lush growth here, it’s an appropriate nickname. If this is your first time in Hawaii, you’ll find the amazing beauty absolutely breathtaking. Surrounded by water, Hawaii supplies many activities that the whole family can enjoy. Take delight in paddling Kauai’s rivers, go whale watching, or try parasailing.

Hawaii consistently ranks high as a travel destination, and it’s easy to see why: beautiful weather, ocean waves, rich heritage and culture. Find your Hawaiian vacation rental with VacationRenter today.

The Best Adventure Destinations

As you can see, it’s easy to find world-class destinations that will supply the adventure you seek. Let us help you find the perfect rental for your getaway. Book an unforgettable adventure and leave the stress of daily life behind, and cross off another item from your travel bucket list.