15 Epic Travel Experiences Around the World People Swear By

The world has no shortage of epic experiences. Every country offers adventures if you know your interests and are willing to find matching activities.

1. Amazon Jungle Tour

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The planet’s largest tropical rainforest deserves a shoutout, but did you know it spreads through eight countries? Brazil isn’t the only place to experience the Amazon’s variety of wildlife. You can savor the same breathtaking biodiversity in neighboring countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

2. Gorilla Tracking, Rwanda

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Any Tarzan fan knows gorillas are intelligent creatures. Gorilla DNA is roughly 98% similar to that of humans. Thanks to conservation efforts and ethical tourism measures, you can track these fascinating animals in their natural habitat and observe their grace up close.

3. Rainforest Kayak Tour, Costa Rica

Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Costa Rica is another country applauded for its conservation. It is the first country in the world to reverse deforestation. From chasing waterfalls and ziplining over cloud forests, there is much to do here in the way of epicness. A kayak tour through the caiman-filled waters of Tortuguero National Park should be on your list.

4. Volcano Acatanango Overnight Trek, Guatemala

Image Credit: Javier Ruata – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

This excursion is one of the most affordable on this list. The adventure starts at the trailhead, where you will climb for about five hours. Reach camp in time for sunset over the clouds before Volcano Fuego starts rumbling and spewing lava in the distance. Prepare to reach Acatenango’s summit early the next morning, followed by a far less grueling descent back down.

5. Hot Air Balloon Ride, Cambodia

Image Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

A hot air balloon ride is remarkable no matter where you are, but flying over Angkor Wat’s iconic temples is even more amazing. You can choose to take flight for either sunrise or sunset. Each experience has its own magic, showing the ancient complex in a new light.

6. Orangutan Spotting, Borneo

Image Credit: Thomas Fuhrmann, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Borneo remains the best place to see wild orangutans, and there are several ethical ways to do this. I had the privilege of seeing these exceptional creatures while volunteering in Danum Valley, but companies also offer visits to wildlife reserves and multi-day jungle treks.

7. The Great Wildebeest Migration, Kenya

Wildebest, Serengeti, Kenya
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

The Great Wildebeest Migration is quite a phenomenon — 1.5 million wildebeests roam the Serengeti together. This famed crossing typically occurs near the Mara River in Kenya, with mid-July to mid-September offering the best viewing chance.

8. Swimming with Whale Sharks, Mexico

Whale shark snorkeling at La Paz Bay Mexico
Image Credit: Matthew T Rader – CC BY-Sa 4.0/Wiki Commons.

This is an experience that will create a core memory. Families can swim in the ocean while a mighty whale shark swims close by. Its distinct white spots shimmer in the water. Always show this gentle creature the respect it deserves.

9. Holi Festival, India

Holi Festival Radha Krishna Temple, Mathura, India.
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Not many cultural festivals are as colorful as Holi. This Hindu celebration commemorates divine love and glory. It’s an annual festival, falling on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March). You can join in the vibrant festivities all over India, although Mathura, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Agra are recommended.

10. Volcano Boarding, Nicaragua

Ingenio San Antonio in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua
Image Credit: Ryan Ballantyne – CC BY-SA 2.5/Wiki Commons.

Did you know that for only $30, you can board down Central America’s youngest volcanic peak? This isn’t an excursion for the faint of heart. My experience ended with me wiping out at 42 mph. But if you’re a thrill seeker craving adrenaline, that won’t stop you.

11. Rainbow Mountain Day Trip, Peru

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Why is it that the most beautiful views are often the hardest to access? Is that so that we can appreciate them more? You’ll have difficulty marveling at the views from Rainbow Mountain as the landscape before you unfolds. Vinicunca is the one most tourists flock to, but I recommend Palccoyo. This location isn’t as crowded, requires a less intense hike, and is home to three distinct rainbow mountains.

12. Antarctica Cruise

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A journey into the heart of the South Pole is unforgettable. It’s cold, but a great adventure awaits. This is an environment like no other on the planet. Visitors can see playful penguins, orcas, and seals, among other animals that call the area home.

13. Savannah Wildlife Safari

A grass savannah in South Africa (Kruger National Park)
Image Credit: Javier Puig Ochoa – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be wasted. Riding in the back of a jeep at daybreak, listen closely as your local guide explains your surroundings. One by one, the “big five” emerge. Will you hear the rhino’s rumble or the lion’s roar, first?

14. Sahara Overnight Desert Experience

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Surrender home comforts for a night under the stars, and you won’t regret it. Surrounded by the world’s largest hot desert, the mood is serene. Meanwhile, the stars twinkle above, and shooting stars are easily visible.

15. Helicopter Flight Over Rio de Janeiro

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Witness Christ the Redeemer from a new angle as you buckle in and soar through the skies. The bustle of Rio shrinks below you. Your eyes dart from landmark to ocean. Recline comfortably next to that special someone. This is an epic ride you won’t forget.

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