Top 7 Dangerous Vacations
Ice Climbing in Hinterrhein, Switzerland
West of St. Moritz near the Swiss-Italian border, Hinterrhein offers some of the most spectacular ice climbing on the planet. The mountaineering alone offers plenty of challenge with sections averaging 50 degrees vertical (in the WI2 range) and many approaching 90 degrees (WI4 and up). Rock slides, man-sized icicles, more than occasional avalanches, and bone chilling cold add to and adventure that requires concentration and preparation. If you are taking along family or friends less inclined to danger, the area has great skiing and accommodations in everything from farm cabins to 5-star hotels.
Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
It only lasts a little under four minutes but it will take a life time to match the pulse pounding raw energy as you in the pack of hundreds of early adrenaline junkies running in mass just feet ahead of the charging bulls of Pamplona. Though many claim to have tips it seems the only two all agree on are run like mad and do everything possible to avoid being gored. The Running of the Bulls is only a part of a nine day festival that comes to the small Spanish city each year and is accompanied by numerous things to enjoy along the way. One word of advice, do all you site seeing before running with the bulls. There are dozens of injuries every year and it would be a shame to be too sore or worse to enjoy the food, sights, and rich culture the area has to offer.
Wild Safaris in Uganda and Kenya
Over the past decade or so, Safaris have come to be more associated with dream retirement destinations that real adventure. If you want to experience what safaris were more like in years go by then focus on the companies that specialize in truly roughing it. Forget Range Rovers and plush accommodations, these tours offer deep jungle observation of Gorillas or five day treks across the savannah of Kenya in the company of herds of Elephants and lions in their habitat. Travel companies like Equatorial Wild Safaris ensure you have the provisions and guides needed but the sweat and sense of adventure is all yours.
Whitewater rafting with crocodiles in the Zambezi River, Africa
This one is really a two-for-one thrill vacation. With picturesque names like Highway to Hell, the rapids of the Batoka Gorge beneath Victoria Falls produces more Class 5 white rafting that just about anywhere else on earth. The view of Victoria Falls is spectacular but the rock tracks along the way are dangerous to even the most adept. But it’s when the water grows calm that things can get really interesting. In the places where the Zambezi slows African crocodiles lurk below the surface unseen until what appears to be an easy lunch passes by.
Biking the El Camino de la Muerte in La Paz, Bolivia
There is a reason some travel guides don’t translate the name of this famous mountain road into English because it might turn more than a few away. Translated it means, you guessed it, The Death Road. Barely more than one lane at any point in its 43 mile length the La Paz to Coroico is often labeled the most dangerous road in the world. With its 1,600-foot vertical drops and lack of barriers anything larger than a pile rocks, the road is a necessity for the motor vehicle drivers but a choice for adventurous mountain bikers from a number of countries. These 43 miles rewrite the meaning of extreme biking.
Tornado Safaris in the Midwest United States
You heard us right. A handful of professional storm chasers offer 7-14 days of chasing after what most people run in fear from. Though the nights are spent in Holiday Inns and such, the days are spent in Suburban tracking down and generally catching up to the most violent storms on the planet. Companies like F5! Tornado Chasing Safaris offer a lot more than seeing a tornado. F5, for example, has trained meteorologists who are doing important research in real time as you join them on what they do almost every day of their life. The best safaris are made in vehicles crammed with state-of-the-art equipment and often offer world-class videographers to record every moment of your adventure.
The Lightning Field in Quemado, New Mexico
Originally designed as a work of art by American sculptor Walter De Maria in 1977 and with a waiting period of six months to a year for its few remote cabins, this is vacation of a different kind. The field of about one square mile is composed of an array of 400 polished stainless steel poles. The poles are two inches in diameter and averaging about 21 feet in height. This isn’t something to be viewed from afar but rather experiences first hand. Visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in it alone, especially during sunset and sunrise. Since this is considered a significant work of art this is your chance to adventure and have class all in the same trip.