Where Not to Go if You’re Out of Shape
7 Epic Adventure Trips That Aren’t for Everyone
Hitting the gym isn’t for everyone, but hey, neither are these trips. So, if the idea of training for your next adventure seems a bit daunting, well, there’s always Disney World. But if you’re up for a good challenge, and possibly a few pre-trip workouts, then read on for some of the most epic adventure trips in the world.
1) Kamchatka Kayaking and Hiking Adventure
Picked by Lonely Planet as one of the best adventure trips for 2014, Natural Habitat Expeditions offers a challenging 100-mile, 15-day sea kayaking and hiking adventure through Russia’s untouched Siberian wilderness. Get dropped by helicopter at the base of the Karimsky volcano. From there, you’ll trek through remote lands to the headwaters of the Zhupanova River where you’ll hop in kayaks and paddle down the length of the river to the Bering Sea.
2) Zambezi River Rafting
You probably can’t ever be fully prepared for taking on some of the most notorious Class V whitewater in the world, but it can’t hurt to get those paddling muscles in shape before you go. This exhilarating adventure with OARS begins in Zambia at the base of Victoria Falls and combines four days of rafting on the mighty Zambezi with a 3-day safari in Botsawana Chobe National Park. Put this trip at the top of your bucket list though, because the Zambezi and some of the best whitewater on the planet, could soon be lost forever due to the Batoka Gorge dam project that is already underway.
3) Trekking the Kokoda Trail
Adventurer Erden Eruç picked trekking the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea for National Geographic’s 2014 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List, so you know it must be exciting. The remote 60-mile track, largely unknown by the rest of the world, is where a historic World War II battle between the Australians and Japanese went down. And today, for those that take it on, it’s like some soldier preparedness exercise as you navigate through deep jungle, creep across log bridges with raging rivers beneath and try to keep your footing along narrow ridgelines. You can go it alone, or you can go with Kokoda Trekking, which offers guided experiences.
4) Trekking in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park
How do you really experience Patagonia? You work for it. Fitz Roy Expediciones, one of National Geographic’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, will guide you on the path less-traveled through Torres del Paine National Park—the Macizo Paine Route. But this isn’t just a stroll through the park. This 10-day expedition, with up to 8 hours of hiking daily, will take you into the heart of Patagonia, over mountain passes, past scenic lakes and valleys, and ultimately to sweeping views of Grey’s Glacier.
5) Zanskar River Rafting
Half the endurance needed for this adventure trip is getting there. Nestled deep in the Indian Himalaya in the war-ravaged region between India and Pakistan, you’ll find the Zanskar River. Surrounded by 19,000-foot peaks, the Zanskar offers Grand Canyon-esque beauty, challenging Class III-V rapids, and the rare chance to explore the secluded villages, Buddhist monuments and hidden meadows nestled within this rugged and mesmerizing landscape. It’s a river so remote that few people descend it each year, making it a true journey into the unknown. OARS typically offers one departure per year.
6) Climb Kilimanjaro
At 19,340-feet, Tanazania’s Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. On this once-in-a-lifetime trek with National Geographic Adventures, you’ll spend 8-days hiking through dense jungle and across the Shira Plateau (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) before reaching the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro. And with 2 to 10 hours of hiking per day, this is a full-on marathon experience.
7) The Ultimate BC Adventure
A little closer to home, but no less epic, Sacred Rides offers up a 13-day mountain biking adventure that takes you on some of British Columbia’s most-challenging single track, through incredible, jaw-dropping alpine scenery. For serious mountain bikers only (can you handle a 2,000-foot elevation gain?), this trip if full of big climbs, big views and big thrills. You’ll hit up trails like Seven Summits, which takes you over seven peaks in one day and has been voted one of the top 10 in the world, as well as Pot of Gold (a.k.a. “the best %*#@^!# trail ever!!!”), considered by some to be the best ride in all of North America.
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Photos: Kamchatka Hiking, Natural Habitat Expeditions; Zambezi River rafting, OARS; Torres del Paine National Park, Winky from Oxford; Ultimate BC Adventure, Sacred Rides