How to Find an Adventure

Are you looking for that next exciting adventure in your life? 

If so, following are a few things to help you find it.

With so many incredible options available it’s good to take a systematic approach that will save you time and help you find your adventure dream come true.

So, how to find an adventure?

First, we’ll cover some things for you to consider when choosing an adventure, then I’ll get more specific with some lists of adventure activities to get you thinking.

Here are three factors to look at when evaluating the adventure travel activities that will be the the best fit for you.

– The risk involved
– The skills needed and physical factors
– The fun factor

How to find an adventure
How to find an adventure

How to find an adventure

When wondering how to find an adventure that suits you, consider the below factors.

The risks of the adventure

When some people think of adventure travel experiences they get visions of paragliding around the Swiss Alps or swimming with sharks in the Bahamas. Yes, those activities have a certain amount of risk involved.

However, an adventure doesn’t have to be dangerous in order for you to have the time of your life. Walking and cultural tours are very popular, and you can find them all over the world. Wildlife watching is an incredible adventure and you can do it from the comfort of a boat (whale watching) or you can kick it up a notch and go to the Australian Outback or the Galapagos Islands.

Generally speaking, the higher the risk, the more adrenaline you get. So, if your middle name is “Danger,” and you love an adrenaline rush, you’re going to have to embrace the risks involved.

So ask yourself this question: How much risk are you willing to take on?

The skill and physical factors

Fortunately, many adventure activities come with training wheels.

For instance, if you want to try skydiving, you don’t have to jump out of a perfectly good airplane all by yourself. You can connect (literally) to an expert and let them guide you through the experience while you focus on the fun of it.

White water rafting runs have several grades of difficulty, trekking routes vary in their length (and the terrain) and many other popular adventure travel experiences offer a range in the degree of difficulty to suit most people.

If you’re in great shape, and have the experience needed, you can head off to Paarl Rock in South Africa for some grade-A rock climbing. However, even if you’re not the athletic type you can find thrilling adventures like zipline canopy tours, horseback riding and flying adventures that are sure to get your heart pumping.

The point is this: Don’t let a lack of expertise, or great physical conditioning, get in the way of adventure. You can try something that interests you in a safe environment and then pursue it on your own if you find you have the passion for it.

The fun factor

So, what do you like doing most? Will it be adventure on land, on (or in) the water or would you like to get airborne? It’s time to start narrowing down your options.

Here are some lists of the most popular adventure travel experiences out there.

Land adventures

Everest Base Camp Trek tour
Everest Base Camp Trek tour

Water adventures

Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain
Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

Air adventures

Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours, Costa Rica
Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours canopy tour

Before you make your final decision there are a few more things to think about.

Ask yourself some basic questions.

– How much time do you have?
– How much money are you willing to spend?

If you’re short on time and/or money then look to stay close to home. If you’re going to plan a great adventure you don’t want to rush it. Overseas adventure travel experiences are great, but for many of us there are fun and exciting excursions within easy driving distance as well. A quick search on Google using the name of the activity and a location should get you some quick and easy results to check out.

What interests you most?

Do you enjoy physical adventures? Then think about these: Hiking and trekking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and paragliding.

If you’re looking for something a little less physical, and more mentally stimulating, then try these: walking tours, cultural tours, wildlife watching and eco tours.

For those looking for exotic exploits consider jungle exploring, flying adventures, camel and elephant riding, safaris, dog sledding and bungee jumping. You can also do a number of things in an exotic location like India, Thailand, Nepal, Brazil, China or the Galapagos Islands.

Luxury adventure travel experiences are extremely popular for those with the disposable income, and there are plenty of luxury accommodations for each of the following: safaris, golf vacations, cruises, resorts and spas (yes, some consider these an adventure), villas in exotic locations and romantic getaways.

If you’ve got family adventure travel on your mind then here’s a short list for you: bicycle tours, camping, fishing, nature trips, white water rafting, eco tours, wildlife watching and zipline canopy tours.

As Andre Gide once said,

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.”

So, now it’s up to you. Discover yourself in the adventures you choose to pursue. 


Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours in the Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Costa Rica

While visiting Costa Rica, we decided to go for a “canopy tour“, or zip-lining as we refer to it at home.

It was recommended that we go on the Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours in Rincon de La Vieja National Park rather than going on one of the tour packages offered at our resort.

It’s a full day adventure tour that includes a canopy tour, rock climbing, tubbing, horse back riding, hot spring and mud bath.

We’re going to share our full experience of this day of adventure in Hacienda Guachipelin – it was well worth it!

Book the tour here.

Rincon de La Vieja National Park in Costa Rica
Rincon de La Vieja National Park in Costa Rica

Getting to Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours

As we’d rented a car with another couple from our resort for a couple of days, we got GPS directions for the National Park and set out on our own. If you’re going to drive to Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours, make sure you have a 4×4 vehicle.

Once you get off of the Pan American Highway (Hwy 1) you’re on a very long unpaved road (in fact that’s all our GPS called it, ‘unpaved road’), full of potholes, hills, and the occasional cow wandering down the road.

Insider travel tip: When you arrive at the entrance to Rincon de La Vieja National Park, you come to a gate where they ask you to pay a toll to enter the park. Tell them you’re heading to Adventure Tours and you don’t need to pay!

The tour includes lunch at the Hacienda Guachipelín Hotel. I had a local drink to begin with, followed by Mahi Mahi on a bed of rice with some vegetables, and rice pudding for dessert. I enjoyed the meal, probably more than the food at our resort!

If you book this tour online, it includes a hotel pick-up so you don’t have to worry about getting to the park on your own.

Canopy Tour

After lunch, we headed out to the canopy. The first thing they do is to get all your equipment fitted. This includes your harness, helmet and gloves. My wife and I were both quite impressed with the harnesses they provide. Having done a fair amount of work in the entertainment industry where harnesses are a job requirement, we felt they paid very good attention to the safety of their guests.

Next up was a brief introduction to zip-lining. While still on the ground they showed you how to position your body while on the line, how to keep your balance, slow yourself down, what to do if you stopped in the middle of the line, etc.

After the briefing, it’s time to go flying through Rincon de La Vieja. We started off with a fairly long line for our first run, which just went through the forest. A good introductory run.  The second run, probably the longest of them all, goes over a canyon, with an incredible view if you were looking down as you flew overhead!

Next, you arrive at the rappelling line. Here your harness is attached to a rope and you’re lowered, head first, straight down along a waterfall.  You then swing across the water to another platform, and climb up at 40m ladder to the next platform. This part of the canopy tour is optional, as it requires a bit more physical strength than the rest. If you choose to rappel down, there is no way out other than the ladder climb back up. Only one of our party of 4 partook in this activity.

After another two zip lines, you arrive at the most challenging part of the tour, rock climbing. You have to climb across one rock wall and then down to another platform, with the river running underneath you. You then do a “tarzan swing’” to a platform on the other side of the canyon.

Finally, you have to climb another rock wall straight up to the next zip-line platform. After another short rock climb, there’s a small walk to the final zip-line location.  The staff are very good at guiding you through this section of the tour.  Although I must admit I was a little unsure about my ability to complete it, it felt like a great accomplishment to reach the end!

After all of that, there’s one final zip-line to the end, which you have the option of doing upside down! We took group photos on the last platform, and then had a short walk back to the Adventure Tours offices where we took off our equipment.

One of the joys of being there at the end of September is that is was pouring rain during many portions of the canopy tour. In some ways, this added to the experience. It felt like a bigger accomplishment doing the ziplines and rock climbing in that weather.

Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours, Costa Rica
Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours canopy tour

Hot Springs

The next part of the day would normally include horseback riding, but given that it was getting a later in the day (we didn’t arrive until almost 1pm) and that it was pouring rain outside, we skipped this and went straight to the hot springs.

The hot springs are located about another 10-15 minute drive up the road from the main Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours office. They’re not marked very well – but there is a sign about 100m before you get to them. The entrance is located right at the bottom of a steep hill on the road. There’s a bridge over the water here, you can park your car on either side of it.

There are change facilities located a short walk into the forest towards the hot springs.  A staff member from Adventure Tours was at the change facilities keeping an eye on everyone’s belongings.  The pools are located just past the change facilities.  There are 3 pools: one hot, one medium, and one cool.  If I had to guess that their temperatures, I would say they were about 107F, 103F and maybe 90F.  The hot pools are fed with water from a nearby volcano. You can see where the hot water is feeding into the pool.

There’s a bridge over the water leading to another cooler pool, but this one was closed on the day we visited because the water levels were too high.

The pools were very relaxing, and felt great on the “new muscles” that we discovered while zip-lining!  The pools were very quite, with only a few other guests showing up while we were there.

Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours, Costa Rica
Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours hot springs.

Driving Back

It was still light out when we started driving back, although it quickly got dark. As we’d discovered on the rest of our trip, the roads in Costa Rica (even the highways and more urban areas) have very poor street lighting, and no shoulders. You have to be very attentive to the pedestrians and cyclists in the dark.

Our return trip was also slowed down because we were stuck behind a line of school buses, with no room to pass. It appears students in Costa Rica go to school for a few hours in the morning, and then again later in the afternoon, with a break in the middle when the heat is at its worst.

Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours: 5/5 

Would recommend this tour to anyone who wants an exciting, adrenaline pumped way to explore the Costa Rican landscape!

Exploring more of Costa Rica? Here’s a few tips:


Peru

Your weekly Adventure Agenda: Explore Peru from home

 

As lockdown begins to ease for many of us and we start to think about getting back on the road in 2021, we’re taking you on an armchair adventure with virtual tour of Peru!

Try before you buy with virtual trips to Machu Picchu, Lima street art tours, and 360° museum visits. Plus, because we like to stir things up a bit, a Pisco Sour cocktail making class.

Climb Machu Picchu

Fake it ‘til you make it. All the views without any of the thigh burn or four-day sock stench, explore the ancient city of Machu Picchu with this interactive tour. (We’re joking about the Inca Trail, it’s epic. Make sure you plan ahead and add the real thing to your 2021 escape plan).

Go beyond the icons

When asked about Peru, many people jump straight to Machu Picchu (not literally, it’s quite a long hike). But what about the Amazon Jungle? Or this desert oasis near Ica? Plan your perfect Peru itinerary with this rundown of things to do in Peru that AREN’T Machu Picchu.

Read or watch this

No trip to Latin America (real or virtual) would be complete without reading or watching The Motorcycle Diaries. Documenting Che Guevara’s journey across the continent, it’s his trip through Peru and to Machu Picchu that is a turning point in his path to revolution.

… while drinking this

As you’d expect from a cocktail containing a fermented grape brandy liquor and an egg white, the origins of Peru’s national cocktail are a bit foggy. However, the taste is amazing. Mix things up with this quick Pisco Sour cocktail class from our friends over at Contiki.

Glass of pisco sour in front of scenic plaza in Peru

Do a street art tour

The walls of most South American cities are famous for their color, artistry and storytelling. Lima is no exception. The first Latin American Street Art Festival was held in Lima in 2012, and turned the streets of Miraflores into a canvas for 30 artists from across the continent.

Have a night in

… at the museum. Peru has a fascinating mix of culture, with customs and traditions inherited from their Inca heritage, mixed with Spanish, African and Chinese influences and settlers. Courtesy of Peru’s Ministry of Culture, you can now take 360° trips around 20 major museums.

Watch this video

Bring on the panpipes! Part of National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase, this six-minute film takes you from the heights of the Andes down to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Plus, there’s an awesome alpaca floppy-fringe-in-a-wind-machine moment at 2:47 mins.

Group of llamas

Ready for the real thing? Visit our Peru destination guide or call for a chat. We’re WFH and are on call for 2021 trip planning and cyber hugs.

If you’re thinking of traveling in 2020 or 2021, make sure you check out our advice about traveling around COVID-19 here.

 

USA

YOUR WEEKLY ADVENTURE AGENDA: EXPLORE THE USA FROM HOME

 

Just because we’re inside, that doesn’t mean we can’t explore what’s outside. Quaranstream USA from the comfort of your couch. Think live big rig road trips, to living room gigs and virtual hikes… we got it all.

No passport required, just passion. (And Wi-Fi). #PauseTheAdventure

Spot bears in Alaska

The bear necessities of lockdown? Animal cams. Tune into watch Brown bears trying to catch leaping salmon in Katmai National Park in Alaska. Or our personal favorite, the underwater salmon cam.

Brown Bears in America's national park

Get weird

This 15-part video series by Atlas Obscura on GoUSA TV (Brand USA’s streaming platform) documents unique destinations across the United States, including Alaska’s surfing culture and O’ahu’s Koko Crater. Oh, and the world’s largest egg in Chicago.

Go on a road trip

“Reality trucking in realtime”, live stream life on the road with Big Rig Travels as these 18-wheelers traverse across the United States. It’s fair to say we’re more than a little bit obsessed with this. 10-4-rubber-duck.

Cars stopped at a red light on a palm tree lined road

See a live gig

Live stream living room gigs from the USA and around the world courtesy of the coolest hostel brand on the planet, Selina. SIMS Online connects local talent with their global community, meaning not only do you get to support independent artists and creatives, but you also get to have a nosey into people’s homes.

See a NYC show

All the world’s a stage. Even The Worldwide Web. Get dressed up and stream a nightly opera at The New York Metropolitan Opera, a performance at the New York Ballet, or Broadway musical.

Get wowed

So spellbinding you can hear a jaw drop. As we throwback to some of the incredible filmmakers we’ve worked over the years, join Thibaud Lomenech and Leo Cannone on this journey through the lesser-travelled landscapes of New York State.

Take a hike

Thanks to the genius that is Google Earth, you can now take a virtual hike through the canyons, gorges and trails of 31 of America’s national parks. We mean, you’re already dressed in sweatpants, right?

Western America National Park

Get cultured

The most highbrow rabbit hole you’re ever likely to digitally venture down, get lost in the virtual museums and exhibitions of Google Arts & Culture, including MoMa, the Smithsonian, and the Guggenheim.

Virtual tour inside of a museum with people walking around next to statues

And then get baked

Join Christina Tosi (of East Village flagship bakery and edible empire Milk) for a free daily baking class at 2pm EST on Instagram. For other timezones, it’s just business as usual, and cake for breakfast or dinner then, yeh?

Watch these 5 American dramas

The Bold Type: Think Sex & the City meets Gossip Girl. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit ‘the City that never sleeps’, this show is everything you expect New York to be. For those who have, it will have you reminiscing Central Park and trendy SoHo bars.

Tiger King: If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this yet (what else could you possibly be doing in lockdown?!), the only way to describe this docu-series is ‘Wild’. It might even have you wanting to avoid society and return to lockdown when this is all over.

Friday Night Lights: Although the idea of ticking any kind of American sporting match off the bucket list is not an option right now, this series is will give insight into a small town in Texas where everyone worships football like it’s a religion.

The O.C: California here we come! An oldie, but a goodie full of teen angst and drama. An easy one to binge watch multiple times whilst imagining you were the super-spoilt child of rich parents in one of the USA’s most beautiful beach side towns.

When They See Us: Get the tissues ready and expect to cry through all four episodes of this mini-series. Based on a true story, When They See Us depicts the story of 5 boys from Harlem who were wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit.

Ozark: This is where Mexican drug cartels meet US suburbia! Get ready for the unexpected from behind white picket fences. When a money laundering scheme goes wrong it is up to Marty Byrd to save his family and overcome all odds.

For more inspiration, visit our USA destination guide. Or call for a chat. We’re WFH, but it’s business as usual for trip planning and cyber hugs.

Australia

Your weekly Adventure Agenda: Explore Australia from home

 

We’re going out. Outback.

This week, we’re taking our lockdown daydreams all the way Down Under. Travel Australia with 360° virtual tours, an interactive scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef with everyone’s favourite nonagenarian (David Attenborough), and – to keep your spirits up – a Whitsunday Island Iced Tea.

No passport required, just passion. (And Wi-Fi). #PauseTheAdventure

Dive with David

There’s only one thing that could improve a virtual dive on the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s having Sir David as your dive buddy. Learn about life beneath the waves from the world’s greatest storyteller on this interactive journey. Plus, a cameo from Obama! Mind. Blown.

Explore in 360

Try before you fly! Thanks to Tourism Australia (and some pretty epic drone footage) you can virtually explore some of Australia’s greatest wonders in 360. The series includes the Whitsundays, Great Ocean Road, Great Barrier Reef and Biddlecomb Cascade.

Crush on these guys

Find inspiration for your own Australia road trip by following our favourite Aussie adventurers @saltytravellers (Monique, Jasper and their dog Bowie). Advisory warning, will lead to a serious travel crush. Plus, you know, dogs who travel. Scroll while knocking back the below…

Mix this Whitsunday Island Iced Tea

The spirit is strong with this one!
Add 1/3 oz rum, 1/3 oz gin, 1/3 oz tequila, 1/3 oz vodka, 1/3 oz Cointreau, 2/3 oz lemon juice, 1/3 oz sugar syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled glass. Top with cola and garnish with a lemon wedge. Finally, imagine you’re on an island in the Whitsundays. #lovewhitsundays

Rock out here

Along with ACDC, Australia is home to some pretty ancient rockers. Take for example, Uluru, at 600 million-years-old! Learn about the Red Centre’s sacred sites and their cultural significance from their traditional owners with these 360° videos of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Hot like Hemsworth

Tourism Australia recently hosted a weekend of live stream events. Missed it? Watch them here. Videos include a workout with Chris Hemsworth’s trainers, sunrise yoga with Elements of Byron Bay, and a BBQ cook-along with Aussie MasterChef favourites Hayden Quinn.

Make a change

For many of us, time at home channel surfing has made us reset and think about the future. Maybe that future involves living the dream and training to become a surf instructor at the Mojosurf Academy? Or at the very least, it should involve watching this awesome video.

Cook with Maggie

Join national treasure and co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off, Maggie Beer, for free lockdown cooking classes from her home in Barossa. Learn how to cook delish homespun dishes (with the added benefit of having a nosey around a celeb’s kitchen).

See the Opera House

Fancy a night in at the museum? From virtual tours of the Sydney Opera House to online exhibits from the Australian National Surfing Museum, get lost in the cultural rabbit hole of Google Art & Culture’s virtual museums, galleries and tours.

For more inspiration, visit our Australia destination guide. Or call for a chat. We’re WFH, but it’s business as usual for trip planning and cyber hugs.