For a lot of people, vacations are a time to rest and relax while for others they’re a chance to see some sights and experience interesting cultures around the world. But some people couldn’t imagine wasting a second of their vacation sitting on a beach or dining at a restaurant when they could be setting off on their next adventure. If that sounds like you and you’ve had your fill of average ski trips and snorkeling then check out these extremely dangerous travel activities from around the world.
1. Swimming with the Whale Shark in Donsol, Sorsogon Philippines
If you’re on the hunt for big adventure with an emphasis on the big, head over to the shores of Donsol in the Philippines for an incredible undersea adventure and swim with a whale shark. You’re not allowed to use scuba gear or under water scooters—it’s just you, the massive fish and the deep blue ocean. Just be sure you stay at least about 10 feet away from its head and don’t get in its way!
2. Racing the Nuerburgring in Nürburg, Germany
If “become a racecar driver” is on your list of things to do before you die, we hope for your sake that it’s last on your list. The Nurburgring racetrack in Germany is the most dangerous circuit in the world and for €22 a lap anyone can drive it. The part you can drive isn’t the F1 circuit, but the Nordschleife or “Nothern Loop” which is a famous testing ground that’s sometimes closed off for racing events. During “Touristenfahrten” the road is open to the public and (for the most part) doesn’t have a speed limit.
3. Running of the Bulls in Tamil Nadu, India
If you think the running of the bulls in Pamploma, Spain is dangerous then you have to see how it’s done in India. The Bullfight Festival in Tamil Nadu, India isn’t as well known as the Spanish version, but it’s a lot more dangerous. People aren’t just running with the bulls, but getting dangerously close while trying to catch them to grab money tied to their horns.
4. Heli-skiing in Alaska
Skiing and snowboarding in the Pocono Mountains is nice, but we’d hardly call it extreme. Heli-skiiing in the Chugach Mountains in Alaska? Now you’re cooking with gas. Get dropped off by a helicopter at the top of a dizzying 20,000 ft high summit get ready for the most intense slope you’ve ever dreamed of. And because what’s the point of extreme sports without awesome videos, some heli-skiing packages include your own videographer to capture footage to create your own heli-skiiing video.
5. Shark Cage Diving in South Africa
Swimming with whale sharks ranks pretty high as a dangerous travel activity, but you wouldn’t catch anyone swimming with great whites. That doesn’t stop adventurous travelers from getting up close and personal with one of these big and deadly predators. The terrifying experience begins off the coast of South Africa in the dead center of where the great white sharks hunt. Fish guts are poured overboard to get their attention and then you’re dropped into the water in with nothing but a steel cage separating you and their massive jaws.
6. Tow Surfing the Jaws break in Peahi, Maui, Hawaii
Big wave surfers come from all over the world to surf Jaws, a big wave surfing reef break on Maui island in Hawaii. Jaws has played a big role in popularizing tow-in surfing, a technique in which the surfer is towed into a breaking wave by a watercraft—which you’ll need if you ever plan to get back out of one of its famous 33 foot waves crashing down at 30 mph. No one has ever died trying to surf at Jaws but pro surfers are concerned since its starting to draw more inexperienced surfers.
7. Biking Across the Sahara
With virtually no water and nothing but sand and sky for miles, cycling through the Sahara sounds impossible, not to mention insane. Thanks to modern technology like GPS and hydration packs biking through the desert is far from impossible. In fact, not only are people successfully making their way across, they’re blogging about it.
8. Ice Climbing in the Canadian Rockies
For most people a frozen waterfall is a beautifully serene scene, but for some it’s an adrenaline rush. Basically take rock climbing, one of the most dangerous extreme sports, and remove the stability of stone and replace it with sheets of ice. Ice Climbing requires expert experience since the ice takes on many forms from thick to thin and hard to soft.
9. Sandboarding in Cerro Blanco, Peru
When snowboarding just doesn’t cut it anymore turn up the heat and try sandboarding. Sandboarding in Cerro Blanco Peru, home to the largest sand dune in the world, has become popular among snowboarders who are sick of waiting for winter to experience the rush of boarding down a slope at break neck speeds. After an arduous 3 hour hike to the top you’ll really feel like you’ve earned the ride down this massive 800 meter long slope.
10. Space Adventures Orbital Spaceflights
One small step for man, one amazing vacation for mankind. If you need to get away—we mean, really get as far away as possible then you really can’t get any further than outer space. Space Adventures doesn’t just offer zero G simulations, but actual orbital spaceflights. While it sounds just peachy to fulfill your 8-year old self’s fantasy of becoming an astronaut, the truth is that not much separates you from the cold, empty void of death that is outer space.