To some people, a good vacation involves relaxing by a hotel pool, sipping on tropical cocktails and getting a few spa treatments. To others, a good vacation involves seeing the world, experiencing different cultures and getting the heart pumping whenever you can.
If you are you’re looking for an extraordinary experience in 2016, check out these five awesome escapades that will fulfill your craving for outdoor adventure and create memories to last a lifetime. Pack up your gear and let’s get ready to travel.
Sea Kayaking in Fiji
The Fiji islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, are known for their spectacular beaches, breathtaking coral lagoons and year-round tropical weather.
One of the best ways to see a wide assortment of the more than 332 islands that make up Fiji is by kayak. In Fiji, you can paddle within one of the world’s largest reefs, between vertical cliffs and past picturesque waterfalls. At any time, you can stop to swim or snorkel in the warm waters. And don’t forget to visit the famous Blue Lagoon, which, as its name suggests, is an inlet of crystal-clear, azure water surrounded by white, sandy beaches.
Hiking the New Zealand Rainforests
The Cropp River in New Zealand receives 18 meters (that’s 708 inches!) of rain annually. The copious rainfall makes the North Island and the western side of the South Island abundant in lush, subtropical rainforest.
The Punakaiki Rainforest, located on the edge of the Paparoa National Park on the South Island, is a hiker’s dream. Various trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate, lead you through the native rainforest, along the coast, through cliffs, caves and stunning rock formations. The nearby Pancake Rocks and blowholes are a must see.
Trek to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is the site of a 15th-century Inca city in Peru. To reach Machu Picchu, you can hike the Inca Trail or hike one of several other trails. The Inca Trail is rated to be one of the top five treks in the world. It allows you to follow the footsteps of the Incas who built ancient city. On this trek, you will camp high in the Andes and hike through beautiful mountain scenery, subtropical jungle and past Inca ruins and tunnels.
Rock Climbing in Southeast Asia
The Southeast Asia landscape, with its jagged limestone cliffs, make the region a popular destination for rock-climbing enthusiasts. Areas like Halong Bay in Vietnam, Vang Vieng in Northern Laos and, most popularly, Krabi in Southern Thailand are ideal climbing spots.
The seaside cliffs of Krabi overlook white-sand beaches and clear, blue water. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are rock-climbing routes for all skill levels. For the complete novice, there are also several rock climbing schools in the area to help you get up to speed on the sport. Visit between December and March for the best weather.
Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, is the world’s largest coral reef system. It stretches for over 1,615 miles (2,600 km) and is approximately half the size of Texas. It is home to more than 1,625 species of fish. The reef also supports six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle, 133 species of sharks and rays, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.
It is no wonder that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s leading scuba destinations. The warm, clear waters of Queensland make this a great year-round trip. Though, for the best weather, visit during their summer: between August and January.