Adventure travel is for thrill-seekers of all ages, and adventure tourism is a large and growing industry that spans the globe. This type of year-round travel has increased in popularity as more travelers look for ways to enjoy nature and avoid crowds.

Plus there are untold benefits. Spending time outdoors encourages a healthy lifestyle and reduces stress. Immersing ourselves in nature can also help rejuvenate our minds, leading to increased feelings of satisfaction and peace.

Some adventure activities are riskier and more physically demanding than others, so it’s important to be realistic about your limitations and prepare as best as possible before a trip. Also, make sure to listen to the advice of local guides so you’ll have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here’s a look at the top places for adventure-seekers around the world.

Costa Rica

The peak of a large mountain in Costa Rica obscured by clouds.

Costa Rica is a beautiful Central American nation located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. About a quarter of the country is preserved from development through a national park system. Costa Rica is a paradise for adventure seekers. Known for its warm weather, lush landscape, and abundance of outdoor activities, it’s a land of beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and volcanoes. Top activities include kayaking, hiking, rafting, and zip-lining.


Locals traversing Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, Peru.

Home to three geographically diverse regions, Peru is a country in South America with a wide array of adventure activities. The western border of Peru features miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean. The Andes Mountains run through the country’s north to south, while much of the east is rainforest. Peru offers adventures as diverse as the land. You can surf the waves in Piura, traverse the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and walk through the canopy of the Amazon Rainforest all in one epic trip.


The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.

Travel south of Peru, and you’ll find the Patagonia region, a sparsely settled area spread over 400,000 rugged square miles. Part of Patagonia is within the country of Argentina; it includes the land south of the Rio Negro to the coast. Whale watching is a major draw for tourists as the ocean here teems with pods of orcas. Seals, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins can also be spotted. There’s also the Lake District where you’ll find all manner of hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and quading.


The red sand of Uluru under a blue sky with some clouds in Australia.

From the blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the remote beauty of the outback wilderness, Australia is a mecca for adventurers. Popular water sports and activities abound along the coastline, including diving, snorkeling, and some of the best waves in the world for surfing. Australia is also a great place for coastal road trips and hiking trails. The island state of Tasmania, located off the southern coast, attracts hikers from all over the world.

New Zealand

Queenstown Hill in Queenstown, New Zealand, with clouds above.

Known for adventure sports, extreme activities, and stunning natural wonders, New Zealand is an island country next to Australia. Some say that New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world. Activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, and whitewater rafting deliver all the thrills and fun for groups and solo travelers alike. There are also plenty of climbing and caving expeditions for mountain explorers.


The Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland painted pink thanks to a setting sun.

If you’re interested in kayaking on a majestic fjord, swimming in natural hot spring pools, and seeing the Northern Lights, find a vacation rental in Iceland stat. Considered part of Europe, Iceland is a Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. The country is divided into seven regions, each with its own culture, landscape, and outdoor attractions. Travelers in southern Iceland can enjoy diverse geological wonders, as this region features black sand beaches, ice caves, glaciers, waterfalls, and geothermal springs.


Taken high above the surrounding area of Mount Vesuvius.

When most people think of traveling to Italy, they think of touring from city to city to experience Italian culture, art, and, of course, food. Some may even take a trip to the Tuscany region for a wine tour and tasting. The seasides, mountains, and lakes of Italy, however, have so much to offer adventure tourists.

Year-round mountain destinations in the Alps and Apennines mountain ranges offer snow sports in the winter, and hiking and horseback riding in warmer seasons. Water sports and mountain biking are popular in the lake districts. At the same time, miles of picturesque coastline provides easy access to the sea — and even islands with active volcanoes.


Long Tail Alley in Thailand full of boats.

Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a tropical country of forests, grasslands, beaches, and lakes. Khao Sok National Park is a wonderland of giant limestone mountains, deep valleys, and abundant wildlife. It’s also home to the world’s oldest evergreen rainforest and the rarely seen clouded leopard. Popular activities in the park include jungle trekking, interacting with Asian elephants, and boating on Cheow Lan Lake.

United States of America

The United States is a huge country with several diverse regions and over 400 national parks. With deserts, mountains, lakes, rivers, canyons, beaches, forests, there’s plenty to explore from coast to coast and beyond.


Endless road in Mount Drum, Alaska.

Known as America’s “Final Frontier,” the unbroken wilderness and snow-capped peaks of Alaska appeal to many nature seekers from around the world. Denali National Park is home to a wide array of wildlife and North America’s tallest mountain. Adventure tourism in Alaska also provides visitors with guided flying, hiking, sea kayaking, or dog sledding tours through the wilds.


The red rock outcrops found in Monument Valley, Arizona.

Most people are familiar with the desert state of Arizona because of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It’s a magnificent sight to behold from land or water. Adventurous visitors can experience the canyon via bicycle, backcountry hiking trails, or guided mule trips. Whitewater rafting down the Colorado River is also another exciting thing to do.

While you’re in Arizona, it’s also worth checking out Red Rock State Park. It’s a famous red sandstone canyon near Sedona known for its star parties and full moon hikes. There are also 10 dark sky parks throughout Arizona for exceptional star-gazing experiences.


Helicopter view of one of the most amazing landscapes of the planet. The Nā Pali coast on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

From surfing and paddle sports to skydiving and zip-lining, Hawaii is a dream vacation spot filled with beautiful outdoor experiences. Nicknamed the “Paradise of the Pacific,” the Hawaiian islands are where you’ll see lush valleys, pristine beaches, and stunning waterfalls. There are also five active volcanoes. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the top place to see the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

Plan Your Next Adventure

From snowboarding in California to trekking the Himalayas in Nepal, there’s an adventure activity for every type of thrill-seeker. Whether you’re looking to travel abroad or closer to home, we make it easy to find the vacation rentals you want.

Ready to plan the best adventure trip of your life? Book an amazing place for your next destination on VacationRenter today.