1) Conquer Mt. Everest
Mountain climbing is extreme enough for many regular folk, but for daredevils only the highest peaks will suffice. Take Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, located in the Himalayas with the summit at 29,029 feet above sea level. Climbing Mt. Everest is clearly the most death defying climb for any mountaineer or risk taker.
There is even an area named the Death Zone, which puts climbers at serious risk for being able to survive.
However, mountain climbing is only one way to conquer Mt. Everest. You can also go skydiving in which you would free-fall over Mt. Everest. Your journey doesn’t start out in an airplane, though, no sir. This trip requires a four day hike so that you can reach the drop zone. Top that off with the extremely bitter cold, severe and constant winds, and out of control altitude. Soon you will realize the whole conquering Mt. Everest part as you are struggling to pass the mountain only so that you can jump out of an airplane over top of it.
Keep in mind this is no lighthearted feat. Only four excursions to the drop zone take place annually and you’ll need some serious cash along with a six month reservation to be added to the list.
2) Dive Deep into Realms Unknown
Diving into deep pools of water has been a sporting activity for many years. Adrenaline junkies, however, have taken the innocence out of diving thanks to extremely dangerous dive sites. Whether you are diving from a jagged cliff or through the waters of caves, you get the opportunity to see things that no other human has ever seen.
If you want to go into true no man’s land, start at the Belize Blue Hole. At a diameter of 1,000 feet, this perfectly circular shaped water mass features an eerie blue ink. Dive 480 feet into the inky blue sea to explore the remains of a cave system formed out of limestone, and from the most recent ice age.
Inside the Blue Hole the water is calm and motionless, and at 110 feet you will catch sight of stalactite formations made from the limestone. Make note that this is no one day dive deal, as you will spend 12 hours under the water alone, not to mention the prepping and down time associated with diving. You will need to sign up for an excursion that will take you to the protected dive site.
Typical packages are estimated to cost about $60,000.
3) Get Sand in Your Shorts
If you like it dry and hot, this travel idea is right up your alley. Take thee self to the Sahara Desert in Africa, the largest desert in the world. Did you know that the Sahara is slowly expanding every year taking over the areas surrounding it? When you arrive expect to see 3,000 miles of hot sand, and very little else. One of the most popular sand sports for extremists is sand boarding.
Designed for hard core snow boarders looking for a way to get their rocks off all year round, sand boarding gives you quite the rush. Combine the waving landscape, hot weather and solitude for a backdrop to a water borne sport in the last place on Earth where you would expect to actually find water. Quite ironic, you think?
If you are looking for a way to surf that is less extreme, and less deadly, settle for second best with the Andes mountain range of Cerro Blanco in Peru. Featuring the tallest sand dune in the world, you can go sand boarding in style before hitting up Machu Picchu to see one of the world’s most preserved mountain cities in all its glory.
As for sand boarding on Cerro Blanco, tour guide operators in the area offer packages for 8 hours of sand boarding along with a sand board rental.
4) Heli-Skiing, Anyone?
Sounds an awful lot like the title to a Macklemore song, but alas heli-skiing is a real sport participated in by real people. To begin with you should be able to ski rather well, like at a near professional level. In the world of heli-skiing, skiers take to the slopes but in a whole new way. You are going to get off of the slopes and trails in order to fly through the air on a helicopter before coming down to ski.
Boarding a helicopter replaces getting on a ski lift, and it takes a true daredevil to plop out of a chopper in order to get the best air on your jump. Seriously.
If you are looking for somewhere to explore the sport of heli-skiing, you don’t have to go too far. Alaska offers tour packages for heli-skiers via Valdez Heli-Camps which operates out of Chugach Mountains. In order to tackle their four or six day excursions up 13,000 feet to the peak of Chugach, you will need some serious adrenaline stores.
After a long day of heli-skiing, nothing beats landing on a ship where you will get to sway the night away in the Prince William Sound.
5) Swimming with Predators
Most people enjoy swimming, but very few would enjoy swimming with predators. Sharks and saltwater crocs are often the last thing you want to see swimming in the same waters as yourself. Well, that is, unless you are a daredevil. Swimming with sharks in particular can be done with or without a cage, depending on your level of daring.
For example, at Cape Point, South Africa, they offer deep sea diving that includes an hour or more of swimming with blue and Make sharks—while wearing nothing but a wet suit.
For more variety in the species, head on over to the Galapagos Islands. Here, not only can you swim with sharks, but you will swim with hundreds of all different kinds of sharks. They have hammerheads, black tips, Galapagos and white tip sharks in San Cristobal that you can swim right alongside. If you are less inclined to like “Jaws,” you should try the Cage of Death in Darwin, Australia.
Rather than hundreds of sharks, you get to swim with saltwater crocodiles, of which are massively huge and seriously deadly. And what about that cage we mentioned earlier?
No, you will not be caged for your protection, but instead you will enter the cage that houses those dangerous saltwater crocodiles.
6) A Lot of Bull
Everyone has heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. While that seven-day festival is the most famous version of the running of the bulls tradition, it is not the only place where you can experience the exhilaration of almost being impaled by a chaotic bull. Cities throughout Mexico, Southern France, and Peru also participate in the running of the bulls, so if you can’t make it to Spain there are options.
Evidently Mesquite, Nevada has even gotten in on the running of the bulls action.
However, in India—Tamil Nadu to be exact—they host the Taming of the Bulls. Also known as Jallikattu, this event takes place annually during Pongal, a Tamil harvest festival. At this event, however, the bulls’ horns are sharpened to razor sharp tips. Also, those daredevils brave enough to act as matadors do not get to use any weapons for protection.
What is the draw for the Taming of the Bulls? Each of the bulls’ horns have money attached to them, and if a person doesn’t die trying to get it, they can keep the cash.
7) Become a Victim
If you are someone who likes to play the victim, then you are in luck in terms of thrilling vacations. Over in Paris, France you can stage your own kidnapping. For thrills and chills, you get to be abducted, on your own wishes, as long as you are willing to pay more than a $1,000 to do it. That amount of money will get you four hours of intense victim action that includes being kidnapped without any warning.
You are bound and gagged and then imprisoned, and you can also ask for special requests.
What about being tortured by the KGB? You can do that, too, over in Vilnius, Lithuania. Enter into their Soviet Bunker experience to be a part of a simulated interrogation by the KGB. Everything from beatings to being verbally belittled by people wearing gas masks are all part of the package deal.
Another option for those interested in exploring human suffering while on an extreme vacation is to go to war zones. Tours of war zones are all the rage with guided tours in places like Africa, Beirut and Iraq.
8) Spend Halloween Night Partying in Dracula’s Castle
OK so stay with me here for a second. Count Dracula was a real person, only his name was Vlad the Impaler aka Vlad Dracula. The castle used for the Dracula films throughout the years, however, is not the actual castle that Vlad aka Dracula lived in. Bran Castle is the castle most commonly associated with Dracula.
Today, you can visit both Bran Castle as seen in the films, as well as the actual castle lived in by Vlad Dracula. Even cooler, you can visit these castles and the surrounding Transylvanian villages on Halloween.
One of the most extreme parties on the planet takes place every Hallow’s Eve in Transylvania in the Vlad Dracula area. At Sighisoara Citadel, the birthplace of Dracula, you can attend the Ritual Killing of a Living Dead and the Which Trial, intentionally misspelled.
After the sun comes up and it’s safe to travel, take a gander over to Borgo Pass to see Dracula’s castle, as well as Poenari Fortress and other historically accurate haunts of Vlad Dracula.
9) Be Shamanized in South America
A trendy thing to do these days is to visit with a shaman in the South American Andes Mountains. Of course you aren’t going to sit around and look at the jungle animals. This trek involves receiving healing through a ritual involving something quite similar to peyote. A cactus is boiled down and used to make a tea that is drunken under the guidance of a shaman.
Once you begin to experience a psychedelic influence from the beverage, you will be led by your shaman guide as you go on your spiritual journey.
Keep in mind that this experience may not produce anything you are ready to see, and it can be quite terrifying to outsiders. Also, you will want to have someone with you whom you trust in case you begin to flip out. Of course with all drugs and psychedelic substances you want to be aware of what you are doing so you don’t end up having a “bad trip.”
However, you won’t be alone in your shaman tour as this popular feat has been showcased on The Travel Channel by the likes of Anthony Bourdain.
10) Go to New Heights
If you have ever wanted to be an astronaut, now is your time. Thanks to Space Adventures you can now travel into suborbital space. While this is not exactly to the moon, you will get a chance to go 10 times higher than you would if you were flying on a commercial airplane. You will make it a third of the distance of the International Space Station, which is pretty close to being a true blue astronaut.
In addition to the breathtaking views, you will get to experience what it truly feels like to be in zero gravity.
You could also climb to new heights on ice in Mammoth Lakes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area presents an opportunity for daredevils to climb over the Owens River Gorge and the icy mountain peaks. Alabama Hills is set for more experienced and daring climbers, while the June Lake spot is a great place to test your skills.
You can also try out rock climbing at Yosemite. Scan the 3,000 foot rock facings of Yosemite as you tackle the slick rock characteristic of this range.