Do you favor the X Games over the snooze-worthy Olympics? Is your preferred method of travel hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, climbing, or whitewater rafting? Did you dress up as Evil Knievel for the past five Halloweens? Do you make your mother worry? Then you're a shoe-in for extreme sports vacations. Every day, athletes from across the globe are pushing the limits, thinking up creative new challenges to face. From shark diving to rock climbing, Vacation Rentals.com has 10 extreme sports vacations that will not only give you an adrenaline rush, but bragging rights, too.
Shark Diving in the Bahamas
After scuba diving at Tiger Beach, the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” will feel more like “Boring Week” to you. After all, you’ve boldly gone where the bravest divers have gone before – Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, home to its namesake, as well as hammerhead sharks and other bigwigs of the fish world.
Sandboarding in Baja, Mexico
Dig the concept of snowboarding, except for the whole “snow” part? Then consider its sunnier desert equivalent, sandboarding. If the sand dunes of Baja, a top sandboarding destination, look strangely familiar to you, it’s because they’re the former movie set of Star Wars. We think Yoda would be a pro at this oddball sport, which originated in Brazil.
Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah
Mountain biking is a strenuous activity to begin with, but on the Slickrock Bike Trail in Moab, it’s life-changing. Recommended for serious bikers only, the Slickrock trail provides 9.6 miles of challenge and breathtaking canyon scenery. But that’s not all. Many more trying trails are scattered about Moab. Not your think? Check out more Biking Vacation Ideas.
Helicopter Skiing in British Columbia
Skiers who tire of manmade snow, long lift lines, and repetitive runs have an adventurous alternative: heliskiing, where skiers are taken out on a helicopter and dropped off in remote mountains to enjoy their favorite wintertime sport. Although there’s plenty room for risk-taking here, natural powder is the easiest to ski, so beginners are welcome to give it a try.
BASE Jumping in Twin Falls, Idaho
So, you went skydiving, but it just wasn’t enough to satisfy that daredevil within. After all, skydiving has that “been there, done that” feel; hard to be proud of a task that countless college students have done on a whim. What you need is a trip to the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, where BASE jumping – parachuting from one spot to another, in a Spiderman sort of way – is legal. It’s not just the law that makes the Perrine Bridge such a BASE jumping hot spot, however, but the sprawling Snake River Canyon that surrounds it. Even Evil Knievel BASE jumped here.
Ice Climbing in Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is a heavenly haven for outdoorsy types, boasting the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, a scenic setting in the Sierra Nevada, and to boot, amazing alpine adventures for ice climbers (including the formidable Owens River Gorge). While your rock climbing options are limited in the winter, don’t sit the season out. Newbies to the sport should check out June Lake, while the rest can enjoy sights such as the Alabama Hills on more difficult climbs.
Whitewater Rafting in the Grand Canyon
Many Grand Canyon veterans swear up and down that the best way to see the park is by raft. The Colorado River cuts through the Grand Canyon and has some of the wildest white water rapids you’ll ever see or feel – making for an electrifying rafting trip you don’t want to miss.
Cave Diving in Brazil
Cave diving is exactly what it sounds like. Divers armed with SCUBA gear can explore natural and artificial South American cave systems, like the Chapada da Diamantina cavern, since many are at least partially filled with water. Features like stalagmites and fish and fauna that you wouldn’t normally see in the sea make cave diving worth the risk for many.
Dog Sledding in Sweden
Go sightseeing through spectacular snow-capped mountains, without putting forth much effort at all. Of all the extreme sports vacations we’ve listed here, this one’s the laziest. Choose from a long or short sled ride, with dogs or even reindeers chugging you along. Don’t worry if you lack in dog sledding skills, because you’ll have a trained guide on hand.
Rock Climbing at Yosemite
Climbers find the chance to scale the 3,000-foot rock walls of Yosemite irresistible. In fact, most experienced climbers have already done so; the characteristically slick rock of Yosemite makes for a demanding and dramatic journey that’s an unofficial rite of passage for rock climbers worldwide.
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