Adventure travel, they say, is a state of mind. It’s a way of approaching the world. Of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and discovering the new and old with a sense of wonder. At Curious Travel we believe that you can find adventure everywhere because being adventurous is relative. For some, it can be taking that first international family trip, whereas, for others, it’s driving solo across Africa. We love working with our clients to gradually build up their curiosity and sense of adventure. Whatever the level or style of adventure you are looking for, our adventure travel planners love to showcase ‘Aspirational Adventures’ and work with you to create YOUR perfect adventure travel experience.
Here are five ideas for adventure travel places to whet your appetite. Why not contact Becky to chat about ideas for your next adventure?
1. The Amazon Rainforest
INDIGENOUS MAN, ECUADORIAN AMAZON by Ammit Jack
“From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him.” The Explorer, Katherine Rundell.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to some of the most diverse, dramatic and delightful flora and fauna of anywhere on earth. The Amazon River itself passes through Brazil, Peru and Columbia. It contributes 20% of the freshwater entering the earth’s oceans. Because dense rainforest surrounds it, its banks have never been built up, and no bridges cross it. It is, therefore, one of the few remaining places where you can still feel like an intrepid explorer.
The communities that live in the rainforest are a diverse mix of indigenous people and settlers. The native tribes have been custodians of the rainforest for centuries, so their innate knowledge of it is invaluable in preserving ‘the world’s lung’. At the Curious Travel Company, we believe that interaction with local communities is an integral part of travel experience as long as it is consensual, respectful and brings genuine benefits to that community.
As anyone who has visited the Amazon will tell you, it can often feel like another planet. Its name is synonymous with adventure, woven into our consciousness as the epitome of daring exploration, the ultimate adventure travel experience. The Amazon should surely be high on any list of adventure travel places. At almost twice the size of India and spanning nine countries, there are so many ways to include it in your travels. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Trek the Inca Trail through cloud forests to the astonishing ancient Incan citadel of Machu Pichu.
- Try the national delicacy; “cuy” (guinea pig).
- Take a jungle canopy walk in Iquitos for a unique perspective on the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon jungle.
- Cruise, kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) down the Amazon river, to the bewitching jungle soundtrack, as you look for pink river dolphins and the infamous black Caiman.
- Explore the jungle while discovering how the local communities are working to conserve the rainforest from one of Ecuador’s excellent community eco-lodges.
- Visit the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca.
- Tick off another bucket-list favourite; the inimitable Galapagos Islands.
- Treat yourself to a luxury cruise down the Amazon in the Aria Amazon (complete with its spa and boasting floor to ceiling windows), or get closer to nature with a traditional canoe expedition through Cuyabeno Wildlife reserve.
Why not contact us today to start planning your perfect Amazon adventure travel.
MONGOLIAN EAGLE HUNTERS, ALTAI MOUNTAINS By Chanwit Whanse
“The Steppe has one other unchanging characteristic: day and night, summer and winter, in foul weather or fine weather, it speaks of freedom. If someone has lost his freedom, the steppe will remind him of it. “ Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman.
The second pick from our list of adventure travel places is another country synonymous with adventure. Long used as a by-word for the outer reaches of the world, Mongolia offers fascinating and thrilling travel experiences. Famed for its remoteness, its never-ending skies, vast steppes, and unique nomadic culture, Mongolia is a real travel gem.
Here’s our pick of things to try while you’re there:
- Follow in the footsteps of the legendary founder of Mongolia, Ghengis Khan. Take a horseback tour through the beautiful region of Arhangay; famed for its forests, mountains and clear rivers.
- Camp in a traditional Ger tent (Yurt) where you’ll enjoy the solitude of the steppe in cosy sheepskin comfort.
- Enjoy the famed hospitability of the nomadic families of the vast Gobi Desert. Sample the local specialities of grilled meats, fermented sheep’s milk (arak) and dried curds (aaruul) whilst watching golden eagles soar above the dunes.
- Ride a camel through the oasis of Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes, an area of the desert surrounded by mountains and green steppes. Mingle with local yak herders whilst discovering the secrets of the traditional, nomadic way of life.
- Visit one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Khovsgol, the ‘Blue Pearl’ of Mongolia. Surrounded by Khovsgol Nuur National Park and bordering the Siberian Taiga forest, this area is a photographers dream.
If unleashing your inner nomad sounds like your perfect adventure, get in touch with our adventure travel experts to start planning your trip.
3. Cape York, Australia
THURSDAY ISLAND, TORRES STRAITS By Natalie Maro
“The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowds.” Captain James Cook
Australia’s cities pull in the tourists however, it’s also one of the world’s top adventure travel places. It’s off the beaten track that you’ll discover the true spirit of adventure. Cape York is the north most point of mainland Australia and is an unspoilt wilderness boasting untouched eucalyptus savannahs, tropical rainforests and perfect white-sand beaches.
You can get out there relatively hassle-free, but the area is under protection for its global environmental significance, so you’ll have to obey the rules. Nevertheless, it’s entirely worth it and is the place for Australia bound adventurers to head.
While you are there:
- Hire a 4×4 in Cairns and head out to the very tip of Australia on wild, red dust roads. Through communities of indigenous Torres Strait Islanders and Aborigines, past surprisingly deserted, unspoilt beaches and croc-infested rivers, to Pajinka, Australia’s northernmost point. It’s more than a road trip; it’s a rite of passage.
- Take the historic Old Telegraph Track down to stop at the crystal clear (and croc-free) waters of the azure Fruit Bat Falls for a refreshing swim.
- Try to visit during the biennial Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival for an unforgettable cultural treat as the most significant gathering of indigenous peoples in Australia showcase their incredible artistic traditions.
- Take a trip to the Torres Straits Islands. Here you can expect vibrant indigenous culture, abundant marine life and a natural tropical paradise.
Talk to our adventure travel experts about arranging your personally tailored outback adventures in Australia.
FITZ ROY, PATAGONIA, ELCHALTEN IN ARGENTINA By @sharptoyou
“I finally felt myself lifted definitively away on the winds of adventure towards worlds I envisaged would be stranger than they were, into situations I imagine would be much more normal than they turned out to be.” Ernesto Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries
Patagonia as about as south as South America gets and, notably, is shared by both Argentina and Chile. This rugged and beautiful country embodies the spirit of adventure travel. Its spectacularly varied terrain encompasses the Andes mountains, deserts, pampas and grasslands alongside both the Colorado and Barrancas rivers.
Over the years, Patagonia has become more accessible to travellers, but that doesn’t make it any less adventurous.
Here is a small selection of the many options for adventure travel in Patagonia:
- Drive through the rugged wilderness on the Carretera Austral, the great Southern Road of Patagonia. Dubbed ‘Chiles greatest road trip’, this 1200km road takes you past must-see sights such as the hanging Quelet Glacier in Quelet National Park, the Marble Caves of Puerto Rio Tranquillo and the Explorades Glacier in the Laguna San Rafael National Park.
- Go whale watching in Puerto Madryn, one of the world’s best places to see southern right whales. Take a walk with hundreds of Magellanic penguins and snorkel with sea lions.
- Gaze at the cave art in Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), which dates from 7370BC.
Combine your Patagonia trip with some of Argentina’s other excellent adventure travel places. Another of our favourites is a self-drive around the russet red rockscapes of Salta, taking in the wine region of the Calchquies valley before sampling the delicious food and wine at the famous Bad Brothers Wine Experience in Cafayate. Spend some time discovering the vibrant, intoxicating capital of Buenos Aires. Enjoy a Tango show. Perhaps even take a lesson. Feast on some of the world’s most exceptional steak washed down with a glass or two of fruity Malbec.
This part of the world has so many adventure travel places. Take a trip to one of the world’s other travel frontiers; the Antarctic. You could even extend your Antarctic cruise to visit South Georgia and Curious Travel owner, Becky’s, favourite – the Falkland Isles.
If adventure travel in South America is your idea of heaven, why not contact us to plan your dream trip?
SVALBARD ICEBERG By Alexey Seafarer
“Some of us are meant to be here…we need to be specks in wild nature, by the pole. The midnight sun. The midday darkness. The northern lights. It called to you, Flora, and you answered. You overcame everything, and you came here, alone. You are the bravest person I’ve ever met.” Emily Barr, The One Memory of Flora Banks.
This remote Norwegian archipelago is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole. For part of the year, it’s a rugged winter wonderland. There are very few roads, so transport is by snowmobile, boat or plane. In the winter months, the sun doesn’t rise at all. Instead, millions of twinkling stars and the spectacular Northern Lights illuminate the snowy landscape. In the polar summer, however, night becomes day and the sun doesn’t set. Svalbard’s wildlife awakens. Then the archipelago is flooded with nesting birds, walruses, seals, whales, polar bear and reindeer. It’s a magical place where the beauty of light holds court.
- Take a dog sledding tour across the endless white silence of the Arctic wilderness. For an added twist try a night tour where you glide through the silent polar night under nature’s most magnificent light show – the Aurora Borealis.
- Visit Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost city. Take a snowmobile safari to spot arctic foxes, reindeers and polar bears before warming up in a wood-heated sauna.
Svalbard’s not a package tour destination, so it requires specialist adventure travel planning to get the most from your trip. Whether that be wildlife, nature guides or photographers, we will make sure you get the right support for your particular interests whilst being treated like the VIP you are.
We hope this article has peaked your curiosity about travelling to some of the world’s most exciting adventure travel places. At Curious Travel we can arrange trips on any level. From soft adventure to extreme exploration. Contact us so we can plan your ideal adventure travel experience.
Curious Travel only works with the best local suppliers that fully respect and work within the communities and adventure travel places that you will be visiting. Contact us below to request a conversation or further information.
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Sam Roberts is a creative content writer, web designer and travel enthusiast currently based in Malaysia.