8 Amazing Travel Experiences You Have To Do Before You Die
We’ve all got our travel lists. From lists of “must-do-museums” in Europe to lists of “absolute-eats” around North America, but sometimes life calls for a mega list. Something that knocks the socks off every other list and is as ambitious as it is pricey. With that in mind, I’ve compiled the most amazing travel experiences to do before you die.
Hot Air Balloon Ride above Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia in central Turkey is a visual spectacle, best viewed from the sky and in a hot air balloon. People have been living and visiting the region for thousands of years and it’s no wonder when you have a landscape like that of Cappadocia. The ceramics, carpets, food and people entice tourists from all over, but the main reason people visit is because of the hot air balloons. From around 6am to 8am every day the skies above Cappadocia are filled with these gassy giants and it really is something to witness; better yet, take part in. Nothing quite beats the feeling of floating in a hot air balloon, whilst you enjoy the Cappadocia landscape as it’s lit up by the rising sun. Weather permitting, balloons fly every day of the year so visitors are pretty much always guaranteed a flight.
Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun, Mexico
There are few places in the world that you can get up close with whale sharks, and the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico, is one of them. Buzzing with tourists year-round, this South Eastern province of Mexico is a mecca for tourism and it’s all centered around the lively city of Cancun.
The crystal blue waters surrounding the Yucatan are enticing enough, but it’s what’s in them that’ll truly blow your mind. From mid-May to mid-September whale sharks swim around the peninsula to feed on plankton and there are plenty of operators that’ll get you close enough to swim with them.
Hike the Inca Trail, Peru
This is undoubtably the most famous hiking trail in all of South America, if not the whole World! The trail is an iconic 4-day, 3-night hike which takes you through luscious jungles and narrow Andean mountain passes, ending at the world famous Macchu Picchu. No other trek gives you such a great introduction into Andean Culture and the mighty Incan Empire. Due to its popularity, Inca Trail passes should be booked in advance and through licensed tour companies. The trail is closed every February, but that’s just to allow nature to reset a little!
Hang Out with Wild Orangutans in Southern Kalimantan, Indonesia
Indonesia is one of two countries in the world where you can see orangutans in the wild, the other being Malaysia. Both countries share the island of Borneo with the last remaining populations of orangutans, but Indonesia has the lion’s share of jungle and arguable the best opportunities for encounters. Reservations and orphanages are a great way to learn about these gentle ginger beasts, but nothing beats hanging out with them as you drift through the Tanjun Putting National Park on a houseboat.
Walk The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China, the collective name for a series of fortifications systems built across China, is staggeringly long. At over 13,000 miles (21,000km) long, this giant collection of bricks is visible from space, but it’s best viewed up close. Visiting the wall is easy and large portions of it are walkable, but some sections are definitely better than others. Beijing provides the easiest access to the wall, but make sure you avoid Chinese holidays because it gets hectic! No matter the time of year, the wall always has something to offer. It is simply stunning in every season.
Go On an Elephant Safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Over the years, Botswana has become increasingly famous for its conservation efforts and strict anti-poaching laws. As a result, to put it simply, elephants love Botswana! It has the highest density of elephants at any time of the year, which means you’re basically guaranteed to see them if you visit the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana. Stay in one of the luxury lodges in Chobe National Park or in one of the local guesthouses in the town of Kasane and opt for the daily game drives.
Camp With the Biggest Trees on Earth in Sequoia National Park, USA
There’s nothing quite as humbling as standing next to an 85-metre tall, 2000-year-old Sequoia tree. Sequoia National Park in California is the only place on Earth where Sequoias trees grow in the wild, and they’ve been doing so for quite some time. They might not be the oldest or tallest trees out there but they are certainly the biggest by volume. Standing next to these beasts is out of this world but imagine sleeping in the same park as them?! Sequoia National Park has plenty of campsites that can be booked throughout the year and they all provide easy access to the magnificent Sequoia Tree Grove. If you plan to visit in the summer book well in advance as these campsites quickly fill up.
Visit the Candle-lit Petra Treasury at Night, Jordan
The most iconic spot in Jordan, if not the whole of the Middle East, the City of Petra is an absolute must-see when visiting Jordan. Once the bustling capital of the industrious ‘Nabatean’ people, Petra is now an abandoned collection of breathtaking ruins carved into sandstone. The infamous Treasury (aka Al Khazneh), deserved of its World Wonder status, is impressive enough during the day, and absolutely breathtaking at night. When available ‘Petra by Night’ kicks off at 20:30. The walk from the entrance gate is a solid 4km, but is a highlight in itself. The entire walkway is lit by candles, guiding you through canyons, until you reach the starlit Petra Treasury.
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