18 of The Best Adventure Tourism Destinations for 2024

In this article, we will discover some of the best adventure tourism destinations in the world.

Millions of people from all over the world love to travel internationally to all parts of the globe. Some people love to relax on their vacations, others love to explore new cultures, and some simply like to try new food.

But there is a growing number of travellers who love to go on adventures when they travel. They like to challenge themselves, and try things that they have never done before. But if you want to travel to go on an adventure, where should you go?

So, without further ado, let’s go over a few of the best adventure travel destinations for those looking to challenge themselves.

The Best Adventure Tourism Destinations for 2024

1. The Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Lizard - Adventure Tourism Destinations
Galapagos Lizard – Adventure Tourism Destinations

If your idea of adventure is seeing many plant and animal life that you have likely never seen before, there are few better places to go than the Galapagos Islands.

Located off the coast of Ecuador, it is home to many of the most interesting and unique animals on the planet.

In fact, many of its species are endemic, which means that they will be found nowhere else on earth. There are birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and so much more to see and learn about.

Of course, be sure to check out Voyagers Travel and learn more about some of the fabulous cruises of the Galapagos, as it is one of the best ways to see the islands.

2. Australia

The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef

If you are a lover of the great outdoors in general, and want to experience a variety of things, Australia might be for you. You can go diving, ride on a boat, go hiking, camp in the wilderness, visit bustling cities, and do so much more. No matter your exact interests, Australia will certainly have something for you.

The weather there is generally quite good, and you are likely to meet travellers from all over the world. Of course, don’t forget about paying a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, which is truly one of the most beautiful and unique places on the planet.

Thanks to its wild coastline, rugged interior and northern rainforests, Australia is considered one of the best adventure tourism destinations in the world!

3. Peru

Machu Pichu, Peru
Machu Pichu, Peru

Another place that is truly the dream destination for adventure vacationers around the world is Peru.

While the entire country is full of amazing things to do and see, there are a few things that stick out as “must-visits”. First of all, you need to be sure to check out some of the beaches, as they are truly spectacular.

Another thing to consider seeing is Huacachina, which is an oasis nestled amongst some huge sand dunes that you can surf down, drive on, and climb.

Of course, making the trek to Machu Picchu is the main reason many people head to Peru in the first place.

It is not an easy journey, but when you reach the 15th century Inca citadel, your breath will be taken away by the amazing views and historic architecture.

4. Thailand

Angthong Marine Park
Angthong Marine Park near Ko Samui

If you love adventure but want to stick to a bit of a tighter budget, Thailand might be the right choice for you. It is incredibly tourist-friendly, and despite this, has still managed to stay very affordable for visitors over the years.

Everything from the food to the accommodation, to the excursions, are all very affordable.

The things you can do in Thailand vary from rafting to wakeboarding, to visiting the jungle, to kayaking, to snorkelling, to rock climbing, and many others.

There are temples to visit, cities to explore, and many amazing people to meet from all over the globe.

5. Nepal

Adventure Tourism in Nepal
Adventure Tourism in Nepal – The Himalayas

Those looking to truly challenge themselves can head to Nepal. This country is home to some of the largest mountains on the planet, including Mount Everest. Reaching the peaks of the mountains can be incredibly hard, but is incredibly rewarding if you are able to do it.

But outside of climbing mountains, Nepal has a ton more to do and see, as well. You can go rafting, go on a jungle safari, bungee jump, go rock climbing, and do so much more.

The culture and people in the country are also very special, so make an effort to immerse yourself as best as possible here.

In conclusion, any of these five destinations are sure to scratch your adventure itch and create some incredible travel memories that you will hold onto forever.

6. Uzbekistan

Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Each of “the Stans” deserves a visit in its own right, however Uzbekistan really retains that Silk Road charm. From ancient Khiva and Bukhara to dazzling Samarkand, this is a place that exudes history.

The country has opened up a lot in recent years and is now easier than ever to visit thanks to its visa-free program for many countries.

For those looking for a real adventure, head down to Termiz on the border with Afghanistan where you can see the mighty Amu Darya River, known throughout antiquity as the Oxus.

The laid-back capital Tashkent is also worthy of a visit for its quaint wooden buildings, grand metro stations, museums and restaurants.

7. Costa Rica

Playa Grande Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Adventure Tourism Destinations – Playa Grande Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a great adventure tourism destination and easily one of the most popular holiday spots for at the moment.

Once you’re in Costa Rica the list of things to do is literally endless. This stunning country is full of adventurous activities including (but not limited to) whitewater rafting, ziplining, hanging bridges, bungee jumping, surfing, and hiking.

You can see a wide variety of wildlife in Costa Rica too including sloths and whales. On top of all of that, the beaches in Costa Rica are stunning!

There are many amazing places to visit in Costa Rica, and if you can I recommend visiting a couple of different destinations to experience it all.

One of the best towns is located on the Pacific Coast is Tamarindo. There are tons of things to do in Tamarindo including surfing, amazing restaurants, nightlife, and wildlife – it’s a popular place for turtle nesting.

You can also check out this excellent list of evening activities in Tamarindo for some great things to do after the sun sets.

The truth is, Costa Rica is an adventurous beach destination that’s just waiting to be explored.

Contributed by Bailey from Costa Rica Travel Life

8. Georgia

Things to do in Georgia
The wild Caucasus Mountains of Georgia

The Republic of Georgia is a charming country located on the border of Europe and Asia and is an excellent adventure travel destination.

This country is full of stunning mountain vistas, fabulous food and wine, friendly people, and fascinating history!

Georgia offers an abundance of things to do for those who love to travel and explore.

For starters, the Georgian capital Tbilisi is one of the most underrated cities in Europe with stunning architecture. It houses famous landmarks such as Metekhi Bridge, Freedom Square, and Narikala Fortress.

Additionally, Georgia is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Upper Svaneti (a collection of villages in the Caucasus Mountains), Gelati Monastery, and Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands.

The whole country is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise thanks to its lush forests and mountains – the most famous of which is the Caucasus Mountains. Hike to the top of Mount Shkhara for a stunning view. Or, go skiing at Gudauri, which is the largest and highest ski resort in Georgia.

Finally, Georgia’s cuisine is also worth mentioning as it reflects the country’s unique history and contains elements from both Eastern and Western cultures. Some must-try dishes are Kharcho, Khinkali, and Khachapuri. Georgia is a dream destination for food and lovers!

Contributed by Disha Smith from Disha Discovers

9. Italy

Stromboli Volcano Sicily
Stromboli Volcano between Naples and Sicily

Italy is a bucket-list destination for many travelers and is packed with adventurous things to do from climbing live volcanos to exploring centuries-old ruins. Nothing can quite compare to it when it comes to the variety of sights.

If you’re planning an extended stay, consider immersing yourself in the culture by hiring an Italian language tutor. Learning the local language can enhance your experience, allowing you to connect with locals and navigate the charming streets with ease. Dive into the rich tapestry of Italy, blending historic wonders with modern delights

You will find large cities thriving with life; archaeological sites that will take you back in time; beautiful beaches and mighty mountains. This is a country where people very much enjoy life – how could it be otherwise, with all the delicious food and wine available?

Rome is not nearly as crowded as it used to be, so you won’t have trouble accessing sites like the Colosseum or St. Peter’s Basilica, and you will find great deals for hotels in all areas, including in Trastevere.

Naples remains as charming and chaotic as ever. Spend a day or two there and make sure to visit Pompeii and hike Mount Vesuvius before you move to the Amalfi Coast for incredible coastal vistas and quaint little towns.

If you’d rather head north, you should not miss places like Florence or Venice, both masterpieces of art. And if you want to get away from the crowds of tourists and just enjoy some relaxing time at the beach, fly to Sardinia.

Sicily is a great destination for adventurers and includes the live volcanoes of Etna and Stromboli, both of which can be climbed.

Contributed by Claudia Tavani from Strictly Rome

10. Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

There are so many fabulous places to explore from Chapultepec Park in Mexico City to the Colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, the coastal areas of Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum and Mazatlan. In Mexico there are so many unique places to explore.

Whether you’re style of traveling in big cities, colonial towns or resort-type lifestyles, Mexico is affordable and easy and of course, the food here is authentic, fresh and amazing. You can visit the colorful markets and eat local or opt for nicer cafes to fine dining venues which is totally affordable for the rest of western standards.

It is also easy to travel the way you want from cheap tours, all exclusive resort experiences to more DIY travel your way. Booking tours, taking buses or planes are relatively easy and safe from the major travel destinations around the country and booking online is fast and saves a lot of time when you visit.

While traveling in Mexico do pay attention to rules, safety measures and just being a good traveler to any destination and you will be fine.

The country is fun to discover and easy to get around as long as you follow the rules and act safely in your travels and attitudes and be flexible in your visit to the country because things tend to work a little more relaxed and casual here.

Contributed by Noel from Travel Photo Discovery

11. Croatia

Sibenik
Sibenik Croatia

Croatia is the perfect destination for your next vacation. It’s a beautiful country with stunning landscapes and rich history that will make your trip unforgettable. You can explore cities like Zagreb, Split, Istria, Dubrovnik, or even waterfalls and national parks like the Plitvice Lakes and Krka!

With a varied landscape and many tiny islands, you won’t have to travel far and wide or even leave the country. You can fly to Zagreb, the capital city, and then visit different parts of Croatia via road trip or public transportation (buses).

There are so many things to do in Croatia that it’ll be hard to pick just one! But you can surely explore up to 3 cities in 7 days in Croatia, and enjoy a nice blend of UNESCO World historical sites, beaches, and cuisine.

You can explore ancient cities like Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik – spend 1-2 days in each with travel time and check out their rich history and culture.

Or if you prefer something more active, you can head out into the great outdoors and hike through some of the national parks on day trips from Zagreb or Split! Or go kayaking down one of our famous waterfalls.

Dubrovnik also offers a great base to explore more of the Balkans, which is open to tourists – like Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, and both are easily accessible from the Pearl of the Adriatic

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then Dubrovnik will delight you, plus you can enjoy a romantic cruise or soak in the sunset view from one of the finest beaches in Croatia!

Contributed by Mayuri from ToSomePlaceNew

12. Sweden

Stockholm Sweden
Stockhol, Sweden

Sweden, with its vibrant cities and beautiful natural areas, is a must-visit destination for all types of travelers. It’s not as crowded as some of the destinations on the main tourist track in Europe, but offers just as compelling an experience.

Stockholm, Sweden’s beautiful capital, deserves a top spot on your itinerary for the country. Situated on an archipelago, Stockholm offers a rich history and beautiful architecture.

Among the many things to do in Stockholm, a stroll through Gamla Stan (the Old Town), a tour of the art in Stockholm’s subway stations, and a visit to Drottningholm Palace are must-dos.

The city of Gothenberg is located on Sweden’s west coast. Home to Liseberg, Stockholm’s best-known amusement park, Gothenberg is also known for its many parks and picturesque architecture.

Uppsala, a university town, has the country’s largest cathedral. Uppsala Castle is also a must-visit. Malmo, the third-largest city in Sweden, has a gorgeous Old Town, but it is also famous for its contemporary architecture: Turning Torso is a “twisted” skyscraper and the tallest building in Scandinavia.

Nature lovers must schedule time for Swedish Lapland, where you can experience the countryside of the extreme north of the country, and even see the Northern Lights. Sweden also has several national parks for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Sweden is a year-round adventure tourism destination: when you choose to visit depends on your interests and preferences. It is also easy to combine a visit to Sweden with Norway and Denmark.

Contributed by Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

13. Greece

The Acropolis, Athens
The Acropolis, Athens

Greece truly is one of Europe’s great adventure destinations. After all the stress everyone went through these past couple of years, Greece is the perfect place to relax, take in the sun and spend a lot of time outside. Greece has lots of perks including the fact that it’s quite cheap in comparison to other European destinations.

Being separated into different parts including the mainland, the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands, the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the Saronic Islands and the North Aegean Islands, Greece offers lots of activities for everyone whether you are looking to visit archeological sites or dreamy beaches, practice watersports or discover new snorkeling spots.

Some of the highlights would include the Acropolis in Athens, the views from Santorini, eating traditional Gyros and visiting unique landscapes such as the moonscape of Sarakiniko in Milos.

Transferring between the mainland and the islands is really easy and can be cheap if booked in advance. Some islands have an airport so you can easily fly to them. Others like Ios don’t, so you’ll need to take the ferry there. In the summertime, there are plenty of ferries and flights!

Contributed by Mary from Be Right Back by Mary

14. Slovenia

View of Lake Bled, Slovenia
View of Lake Bled, Slovenia

From Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, to Lake Bled and Triglav National Park, Slovenia is the perfect European destination for a visit.

To get to Slovenia, you can fly to Zagreb in Croatia, and then pick up a car rental to head to Ljubljana.

Do spend a day or two in Ljubljana – it has plenty of museums, restaurants, bars, and cafes waiting for you to visit! The city is known as the ‘green city’, and it is very compact and walkable!

There are smaller towns close to Ljubljana that make for an easy day trip from the capital city. Top destinations include Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, Lake Bohinj, and Piran.

If relaxing by a lake sounds more like your speed then check out Lake Bled – it has everything from boat rentals and fishing tours all year round! You can also enjoy easy hikes all year round, and soak in the views of the charming island, and the views of the lake with the Julian Alps as its backdrop!

If you want an adventure with stunning views then head over to Triglav National Park. The park is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails around, as well as waterfalls and alpine lakes.

Contributed by Mayuri from Canada Crossroads

15. Hungary

Budapest Parliament Building
Budapest Parliament Building

Hungary is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, spectacular capital, Budapest aside. There is so much more to Hungary, and you can enjoy small villages and towns, mountain destinations, and amazing thermal baths you never thought existed.

Especially worth mentioning is the medieval town of Eger, where you can enjoy the unique baths of Egerszalok or discover the city underground. The area is also famous for its long history in wine production.

Not far from there, discover what to do in Miskolc, home of the infamous cave baths and the enchanting forest train to Lillafured in the Bukk Mountains. This area is infested with astounding natural underground caves and you should tour at least one of them.

While Hungary has no coastline, there are many astounding beaches at Balaton Lake, only a couple of hours from Budapest. There are several small towns around the lake to stay and hiking opportunities in the Balaton Uplands National Park.

Contributed by Linn Haglund of Brainy Backpackers

16. Turkey

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

You will have seen it in your social media feeds: the hot air balloons over Cappadocia at dusk, the ancient Greek ruins of Ephesus, and the magical minarets of the Ayasofya in Istanbul.

Turkey has something for everybody and is a wonderful adventure tourism destination thanks to its varied landscape, coastal regions, mountains and ancient cities.

Eat some local foods such as çiğ köfte (vegan) or Adana kebap (meaty), drink endless cups of çay, and if that’s your thing, smoke some nargileh when the police aren’t checking. The levels of hospitality in Turkey are something to rave about once back home.

The country is used to tourists and most people have a can-do attitude, so the language barrier usually isn’t a problem. You can visit Turkey year-round, but it’s best to choose the shoulder seasons of spring (March – June) and autumn (September – November) to avoid the hottest and coldest temperatures and the crowds.

Contributed by Iris Veldwijk of Mind of a Hitchhiker

17. Cambodia

Long Set Beach on Koh Rong
Long Set Beach on Koh Rong

Cambodia’s main tourist attraction is, of course, the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat which is well worth a visit for the adventurous traveller.

But Cambodia is more than Angkor Wat and is considered one of Asia’s dream destinations. The capital Phnom Penh has some interesting sights, Thai-style nightlife and great restaurants and coffee shops. The evening riverside walk along Sisowath Quay is an iconic Phnom Penh experience.

The river town of Kampot, about three hours drive south of Phnom Penh, is becoming a go-to destination for foodies. It’s a laidback place with many pepper plantations nearby which you can visit to see how they produce the world’s best pepper.

From Kampot it’s easy to do a day trip to the temples and old hill station in the nearby Bokor National Park from where there are magnificent views across the Gulf of Thailand to Phu Quoc in Vietnam.

And it’s only another two hours drive across to Sihanoukville from where you can take a ferry to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanloem – Cambodia’s two tropical islands with dozens of beach resorts and some of the country’s best beaches.

Contributed by David Astley of xyzAsia

18. Kyrgyzstan

The Burana Tower, Kyrgyzsstan
The Burana Tower and Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan

This is the “Stan” country that has a long and remarkable track record of being easy to visit in Central Asia. It’s not as famous as its larger neighbors such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, but still, Kyrgyzstan is a very spectacular country to visit for lovers of the outdoors.

Consider Kyrgyzstan if you love learning about (real) nomads, enjoy horse riding culture, and want to inhale that crisp mountain air. It’s truly one of the best adventure tourism destinations in the world.

The best places to visit in Kyrgyzstan are the capital Bishkek, where you can enjoy Soviet mosaics and architecture. That’s also where you can find the greatest food variety from beshbarmak (meaty) to laghman (vegetarian if you ask nicely) and foreign dishes.

From Bishkek, you can make a day trip to the Alamedin Gorge for a nearby hike. But if you want to really see a natural wonder, head to Issyk-Kul Lake in the east. There you can really feel alive by visiting a hot banya before taking an ice-cold dip in this mountain lake.

The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan is from the end of May till early September. The main languages are Kyrgyz and Russian, so make sure to download these languages in Google Translate and pick up a few words and phrases.

Contributed by Iris Veldwijk of Mind of a Hitchhiker

Conclusion

Whatever the adventure you are looking for, be it hiking, mountains, or exploring ancient cities, we hope this list of the most amazing adventure tourism destinations has helped you choose your next trip!

Dunhuang, Gobi Desert, China

About the author:

Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has traveled to over 60 countries, lived in Armenia, China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.

Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of the world by train, bus and boat. He has been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and recently featured in the documentary Scariest Places in the World. See the About page for more info.

Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲

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