Maybe you’ve always wanted to visit a volcano, or ride a bike along Japan’s ancient roads, to a faraway Buddhist temple (and did you know Nepal is considered a “budget” destination?) Whatever your heart desires, the sky’s the limit, and the time is now.
Here are 18 adventurous places to travel in 2018.
STAY FREE IN ST. LUCIA IN 2018 – HERE’S HOW!
The all-inclusive St. James Club Morgan Bay Resort, nestled on the island of St. Lucia, is saluting first responders by allowing all firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians to stay free this year. It’s based on a three-night minimum stay, when traveling with a guest. St. Lucia boasts miles of lush rainforest, sparkling waterfalls and the world’s only “drive-through” volcano.
A brand new excursion by Ride and Seek Tours allows tourists visiting Japan to spend 12-days cycling the ancient Samurai roads of Shikoku, the smallest and least populated of Japan’s major islands. Shikoku is famous for it 88 Buddhist temples, along with beautiful and exhilarating descents through green valleys, terraced rice paddies and ancient villages. You’ll also tackle Mt. Ishizuchi, Western Japan’s highest peak with an elevation of 6,503 feet.
PLAY COWBOY FOR A DAY
City Slickers will love a chance to saddle up and play cowboy for a day at Wyoming’s Red Reflet Ranch. The working ranch doubles as a luxury resort, so after a hard day’s work, you can relax and enjoy a gourmet meal.
VISIT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
If first-class amenities aren’t your thing, you can help the economies in developing countries like Ethiopia and Uganda by touring their national parks. National parks in developing countries are in desperate need of more visitors, which aid in conservation efforts for these countries. You can find unique and adventurous (yet safe!) guided tours by visiting www.nationalparks-worldwide.com.
OFF-THE BEATEN PATH (ON A BUDGET)
Travel deals finder TravelPirates recommends Nepal as a great place for travelers seeking solitude and nature in a faraway land, without breaking the proverbial bank. Getting to the Mount Everest basecamp is a bucket-list item for many, and tours from Nepal are less expensive than the more expensive Asian destinations. If you visit the country’s Chiwan National Park, expect to see endangered one-horned rhino’s and bangle tigers. If you want to trek Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail (which takes 152-days), World Expeditions has seven stand alone stages that can be completed individually or trekked together, to make up the full traverse. It only runs once a year, in February.
HIT THE SLOPES
770,000 acres of national forest land, 27-towns and villages and 13-ski resorts make up the valley of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the tallest peak in the Northeast. Skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, dogsledding and ice/rock climbing, are just a few of the outdoor activities you can enjoy, plus the area boasts the world-famous Tuckerman Ravine, with a bowl so steep it draws extreme skiers and spectators.
EXPLORE THE UNKNOWN (LITERALLY!)
Cluventure Travel is a one-of-a-kind company offering a truly one-of-a-kind experience. You see, when you book with them… you have no idea where you are going! Customers fill out travel preferences, and then the agency chooses where you go, and what you do. You only find out where it is, when you reach your final destination!
Large Minority’s Adventure Challenges are not only good for those who want to be put to the test, but they do good, too! Challenges include navigating the high-seas of the Philippines on a nine-day sailing adventure, and traversing through the jungles of the Amazon. Prices start at $1,554 per person and a portion of the proceeds go to local charities in those areas.
Get down and dirty on two-wheels with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental and Tour’s Dirt Deluxe Tour that crisscrosses the Northern Ecuadorian Andes. You’ll spend 6-days riding the off-road ready motorcycles, through pristine wildlife refuges, coffee plantations, and therapeutic hot springs. Part of the route- the Coca-Cayambe Wildlife Reserve – is so well-protected that it’s off-limits to motorized traffic. Closer to home (and a bit colder!) you can explore the winter landscape of Minnesota by bike. The “Arrowhead 135” bike, ski or run marathon is known as “one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world,” pushes athletes over patches of compact snow and piles of newly fallen fluff, all in subzero temperatures.
LASSO YOUR OWN LOBSTER
Perhaps you’ve never heard of it, and that’s a good thing. The 36-square mile Caribbean island of “Nevis” provides a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life. The Four Seasons Resort boasts island activities from land to sea like hiking to the 3,232 foot Nevis peak, or diving deep to lasso your own lobster for the freshest catch of the day. Another under-the-radar spot for superior diving? The Dutch-owned island of Bonaire. This less-commercial than most Caribbean spot offers 80+ dive sites, and luxe amenities at the Divi Flamingo Resort.
Fires in California and poor weather in places like Napa and Western Europe, are forcing Oenophiles elsewhere. Enter Moldova, Europe’s “poorest” country, yet touted by Lonely Planet as a top ten travel destination. Their underground wine cellar is the biggest in the world, and open for touring with 125-miles of roads. Its vineyards are award-winning, and said to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, rivaling some of France’s finest Bordeaux’s. Making Moldova’s wines even more exclusive is their lack of availability in other parts of the world. So you’ve got to travel, to taste!
GIVE ITALY THE BOOT
Forget Florence, Rome and Venice – Sicily’s where it’s at. The Mediterranean’s largest island (at the toe of Italy’s boot) offers plenty for explorers from Ancient Greek temples to trekking the craters of Etna, Europe’s largest and most active Volcano.
THE ESKIMO EXPERIENCE
Besides the fact that you can see Russia from it (or so we’ve heard), what could be more adventurous than visiting the tallest mountain in North America? Alaska offers outstanding wildlife experiences, and accessible wilderness areas larger than most states. Fly into Fairbanks and start your adventure, via auto, boat or light aircraft.
Visit Arizona’s Cochise County (aka the Land of Legends) and be transported back to the Wild West with gun fight reenactments, stage coaches, railways, and ghost towns. Explore where cowboys and conquistadors walked before you, all while enjoying a micro-brewed beer.
Marathon Tours takes runners to seven continents and 40 destinations, to run marathons and enjoy an authentic cultural experience. If you’re looking for more than just your run-of-the-mill marathon, then try one in Antartica, Patagonia, Madagascar or run with the Maasai in Kenya.
BIKE AND BREW
Stowe, Vermont, is known as a skier’s haven, but is also home to more breweries per capita than any other state. The Topnotch Resort offers a Bed, Bike and Brew package, with a bike ride or cross-country ski through the trees, over the creek, and right into town.
Nestled in a little surf-town on the North Coast of the Dominical Republic, is the ultimate adventure basecamp known as eXtreme Hotel. On-site you can do yoga by the beach, soar through the air in the flying trapeze or kitesurf. Offsite, you can repel from a 60-foot waterfall or horseback through the lush jungle and mountains.
Indian River County is part of Florida’s Treasure Coast –but it’s more than just a catchy name. Famous shipwrecks occurred off of of the Atlantic Coast of Vero Beach centuries ago, and their submerged remains are still there today. Treasure hunters have salvaged millions of dollars’ worth of gold coins and valuable artifacts, and you can get in on the action of some of these undiscovered gems (one wreck is reported to have sunk with 70 pounds of emeralds on board, and only three pounds have yet to be recovered).