When you think of the ultimate bucket list adventure, what comes to mind? Reaching the top of one of the Seven Summit mountains? Swimming alongside turtles whilst deep sea diving? Trekking to see ancient ruins at Machu Picchu?
Adventure means something different to each of us – and that’s the beauty of adventure travel; there are so many incredible experiences out there waiting for you.
But if you had to take a guess at which experience would be at the top of the list for the average adventurer, what would you choose? Well, a recent survey conducted by top travel experts has found the answer.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has received the title of world’s number one adventure – beating experiences such as hiking the Inca Trail and dog sledding in the Arctic – to the top spot.
The survey, led by Steve Backshall ahead of his new TV show, Expedition, involved a panel of travel experts who created a shortlist of the “greatest adventures around the world”, which was then presented to a vote among 2,000 members of the British public.
So, what else featured on the shortlist of the best adventures in the world? Here are the top 20, as chosen by travel experts and 2,000 adventurous souls like you!
The world’s top 20 adventures
1. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (37%)
2. Trekking the Inca trail, Machu Picchu, Peru (35)
3. Rafting the Grand Canyon, Arizona (31%)
4. Descending into Thrihnukagigur volcano, Iceland (29%)
5. Exploring the Son Doong Caves, Vietnam (24%)
6. Dog sledding to witness the Aurora Borealis, Norway (23%)
7. Kayaking in Arctic fjords, Greenland (22%)
8. Reaching Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal (20%)
9. Cruising on the Antarctic (19%)
10. Cage diving with sharks in Cape Town, South Africa (18%)
11. Swimming with Humpback Whales, Mozambique (17%)
12. Cave diving in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (16%)
13. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (13%)
14. Walking the Great Wall of China (12%)
15. Paragliding in the Alps, Switzerland (11%)
16. Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia (10%)
17. Volcano night trekking, Indonesia (9%)
18. Hiking Mount Fuji, Japan (9%)
19. Diving into the Great Blue Hole, Belize (8%)
20. Finding the Lost City of Teyuna, Colombia (7%)
It is unsurprising that climbing Kilimanjaro took the top spot among the shortlist of ultimate adventures. The mountain is famously known as “world’s highest walkable peak”. It occupies a unique position as a mountain whose peak it is a significant challenge to reach – at 5,895 metres – yet is still accessible for most people with a little training and a plucky spirit!
Not only that, but during the Kili trek, hikers will also pass a variety of spectacular scenery, from plains, to montane forest, to moorland, to Alpine desert and snowy peaks. You can also catch sight of unique animals such as the Colobus monkey on your way up the world’s highest freestanding mountain.
The study also reported that over 80 per cent of respondents said they would prefer an adventurous holiday to the classic beach getaway, with 50 per cent saying that “a snese of danger” attracted them to these adventurous getaways!
We would certainly agree – more and more people are coming to us having realised that laying by the pool just isn’t doing it for them. Most of us want to use our leisure time to do something memorable, something a little different, that will get our pulse racing and push our limits – all whilst having an incredible time, of course.
Nine in ten of those surveyed said that they think people are naturally born with an ‘explorer gene’ that makes us more disposed to seek out these unusual and unforgettable experiences. In fact, according to MSN, “The study also suggests that middle children are the least likely to become explorers and that adventurers normally have dark hair and are 3.5 inches taller than the average person.
Now, we suspect that the latter claim might be a case of “correlation not causation”. We have Bucketlisters of all physical descriptions and backgrounds join us on our amazing adventures, whether it be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or white water rafting in Morocco. The research also overlooks the fact that there have historically been (and still are today, for some people) socioeconomic factors involved in who can access the world of adventure.
The prototypical famous explorer of yore was seen as a wealthy upper-class white man, because these people were most likely to be able to jet off around the world without having to worry about money, work, caregiving or sociopolitical limitations. But think about the people who have always been behind the scenes of the famous first ascents – the hard-working Sherpas who helped the world’s most renowned climbers get to the hardest Himalayan summits… Think of the Cholita Climbers – women who once worked in Andean mountain huts, before climbing Aconcagua for themselves!
Adventure can be accessible to all – and connect us all – if we let it!
Luckily, now, more and more people from diverse backgrounds are able to seek out life-changing adventures in incredible parts of the world. We hope this trend will continue – and we hope that our approach to making adventure travel accessible – by allowing customers to pay for trips monthly, and including all of the flights and accommodation in the price – will contribute to this.
Because we really do believe that there is an adventurer inside all of us.
But what do you think? Are some people born natural adventurers, or does life shape us in this way? Have you discovered adventure travel later in life, or have you always known you wanted to do unbelievable things in impressive places?
And do you agree with the list of the world’s best adventures? Which experience would top your list?
(Remember if you book by the end of August you will be entered into a competition to win £2000 of trekking gear for your trip with our #AwesomeAugust promotion using the code ‘Awesome’… so now’s a great time to take the plunge!)