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adventure tourism

Adventure travel will capture intense thrills and memories on your next vacation

adventure tourism

Adventure tourism is not just about taking heart-stopping risks and doing something crazy. Sure, that would certainly qualify as  adventure travel but it is not the be all and end all.

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Adventure Tourism And What It Actually Means

Adventure tourism can mean different things to different people. In many peoples minds, an ideal vacation is about finding a beautiful resort hotel and living the dream with cocktails, room service and waking up to some beach paradise.  That is great.

We all deserve a little pampering after working hard for our money. However, this is one type of vacation and it does not have to become the staple diet of ALL vacations you take.

Adventure Tourism is really, by definition, an activity that takes you out from the norm. Going on a standard vacation can now be something more. Instead of just a beach, a hotel and lots of great restaurants, adventure tourism add to the mix layers of fun and learning, physical pursuits or simply activities that may take place in the natural surrounds.

Think of adventure travel as the hot and tangy spice to your meal. It is a rush but maybe not every time you have a dish. Same thing with an active and exploratory vacation. 

Having an adventure vacation does not mean you have to risk killing yourself over it

Having an adventure vacation is not just about risking life and limb for a buzz.

Having an adventure vacation can be a really therapeutic experience.

 If you are an adrenaline junkie or someone looking to push their boundaries, you can achieve that with tons of available exploits such as base jumping school, Grade 4-6 white river rafting, cage diving with man-eating great whites.All a make for great Instagram pics but is this what you really want to do?

The best aspects of traveling are what you learn, see and experience. You get to do things you have never done before and perhaps things you have always wanted to do.  

Adventure tourism is a broad spectrum from dangerous, crazy stuff, roughing it in tents and taking a survival course to simple hiking trips, canoe trips in safe waters and basically coming together with the culture you are visiting.

The great thing about adventure travel is that you can do it at any level and comfort zone. In fact, you can totally have a luxury adventure experience. Going overseas is adventure enough but adding a little juice to that experience is what makes it an overseas travel adventure

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An idea how to make your next vacation all about adventure

Why not just change your mindset when it comes to your next vacation? Instead of simply deciding on a destination, take it one step further. Consider the things that you would most like to do in life. What are those fun things that you have fantasized about learning to do or experience but have never got to?

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Why not create a checklist of things you’d like to learn – maybe snorkeling, kayaking, cooking…you name it.
I started thinking like this about 10 years back. I was in Spain and wanted to do something other than sight-see or go lie on the beach or party in Benidorm. I wanted to learn something. I was all about trying to learn Spanish but how? I had a brainwave when I made out a list of some of the things I wanted to do in life.

Ocean sailing was one of them. I wanted to learn how. What exactly possessed me that next morning to go in search of a sailing school and actually sign-up, I have no idea. But I did! I spent 2 weeks getting my coastal skippers license in broken Spanglish. It was the most fun I ever had. And I actually passed and got the certificate! And I learned some key Spanish phrases – some of which I could not share here. But that’s an example how you can make any vacation an adventure.

Ask yourself – what would you like to do? – rather than simply – where you would like to go?

Adventure Tourism Pursuits


If you’re relatively fit and enjoy bicycle riding, Europe is a great destination to do this. Summertime, riding through Germany, the Netherlands and up through Austria is a really fun vacation.

Obviously, you do not need to try and do a marathon and complete 3 countries. One great idea is to ride along the Rhine, especially through the Rhine Gorge. The scenery is breathtaking against the backdrop of ancient castles and quaint villages.

The cyclist is well catered for with beautiful riding tracks and stunning B&B’s to rest up at. The pubs and restaurants along the way are plentiful. I recommend Europe for a cycle tour as it really is very cyclist friendly.

bicyle touring
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travel is an adventure

mountain bikingMountain Biking:

Cycling may be a bit sedate for your tastes. Try mountain biking in nature, experiencing a place you have never visited before – at least on a bike. Mountain biking has become a really popular activity in adventure tourism, and if you are fit, it’s an awesome way to see parts of the world.

Most countries will offer tours and bikes with established trails. A friend of mine did some great mountain biking in Switzerland during the summer, using a ski lift to get up top and freewheeling down.


The world provides endless possibilities for anyone Kayaking or rafting. In South Africa, I did an amazing 7-day kayaking voyage down the Orange River. The the only desert mountain range in South Africa is your passing scenery, namely the Richtersveld, providing dramatic craggy rock scenery alongside the river banks.

You get to sleep under the canvas of stars in the African night and enjoy food and a top guide. This is one example of literally hundreds of worldwide choices from the US, Canada, South America and beyond.

A relatively safe and fantastic way to spend a couple of weeks in the adventure. And the best aspect of river adventure is that you can choose a grading of difficulty to suit you.

Tandem Skydive

With some ground instruction, followed by the actual jump with your “buddy” (the person who pulls the chute), you can enjoy the thrill of free-fall at terminal velocity and the powerful soaring jerk as your fall is broken by a massive upward pull skywards with the parachute deploying. 

In a tandem jump, the instructor is harnessed to your back and the both of you take the jump earthwards. Usually, a videographer will be jumping alongside, capturing your free-fall moments. It is definitely a memory bank highlight of any adventure travel vacation.

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If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Shark Cage Diving

This is a somewhat controversial pursuit. In order for the operators to attract the sharks that will surround the cage that you will be in, they have to churn the water with shark bait (blood/fish). This, unfortunately, has the side effect of encouraging great whites, among other species to remain in the area where bathers and surfers enjoy the water. However, that aside, fitted with a scuba tank, you are lowered into the water in a cage and wait for the sharks to come and say hi. And they do! Up close and personal encounters with a Great White can certainly have your heart thumping.

Naturally, there are many more areas of Adventure tourism to explore. There are so many new ideas from Jungle Tourism to Urban Tourism that they in themselves form new subcategories.


Do something -

adventure with shark cage diving
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Suffice to say that you can pretty much spend hours just looking up the kind of adventure tourism you would enjoy. 

My advice is to take your standard vacation and look for activities to add to the experience. Take a bite of the cherry and if you love the experience, perhaps then look for a full-blown vacation dedicated to the pursuit.

Still not sure. Why not check out what type of traveler you actually are in our Types of Tourists section

Food tourism - eating your way through countries

Culinary or food tourism, as it is known, is a buzzword about something that has been around for years. But it came into prominence as an emerging travel trend back in 2001. Was this just some smart thinking travel person who figured putting a label on something to sell more tours?

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