If you’re afraid of heights and water, you should probably stop reading this post now. My name is Hendric, and 2 years ago, quit my job to travel the world. Since then, I’ve travelled for months through South America on a budget, and done all sorts of crazy stuff.
If you love adventure like I do, read on to discover some of my favourite adventure activities around the world.
Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia – Hang off the edge Via Ferrata
At a towering 4,096m, Gunung Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia. A typical trek takes two-three days, with a night or two spent on the mountain. For the truly adventurous, you can also choose to do the highest Via Ferrata in the world at Low’s Peak.
The Via Ferrata is basically an additional circuit near the top of Mount Kinabalu where you get to experience the thrills of mountaineering in a safe and controlled environment. You’ll scale cliffs and walk over ravines with a mixture of ladders, cables, and bridges.
While safe, it isn’t something for the faint-hearted. Just watch my video below and you will know what I mean.
Ölüdeniz, Turkey – Go paragliding above sapphire blue waters
While Turkey is better known for hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, it is actually one of the best places in the world for tandem paragliding.
Located in the South Western part of Turkey, Ölüdeniz is a popular resort village with sapphire blue waters and a pebble beach.
Most of the paragliding companies can be found along the beach, where a shuttle takes you to the top of nearby Mt. Babadag (1996m) for the launch. Do try not to eat too much though, as other than the paragliding, the ride up is pretty bumpy.
At the launch pad, everything moves like clockwork and you’ll be gliding off the cliff before long. The pilots are professional, but very fun. At some point they even gave me control of the para glider while he took photos of us. If you’re a trail seeker, you can even ask for extreme action, where the pilot will take you for a spin. I swear we flipped 360 degrees at some point.
The views were spectacular and I honestly wish we could glide forever. But all good things have to end, and we eventually landed smoothly on the beach.
For more information, check out Paragliding in Ölüdeniz.
Baños, Ecuador – Jump off a bridge for $20
The adventure capital of South America, this Baños is probably the cheapest place in the world for you to indulge in outdoor activities. From canyoning, white water rafting, to zip lining over the forests, this is an adrenaline junkie’s dream.
My favourite however, is this thing called puenting, where you jump off a bridge. It’s different from bungee jumping in the sense that after the big jump, instead of bouncing up and down, you swing from side to side. The harness is also secured to your waist instead of your feet.
The scary thing though, is that it’s literally just a booth in the middle of San Francisco bridge in Baños. You pay $20, and someone puts a harness on you. Before you know it, you’ll be standing 100m above the Pastaza River, ready to jump. Such is the thrill of spontaneity.
That said, the guys running the show are really professional despite the lack of a proper office space. I guess sometimes in life, we just got to hustle!
Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia – Dive through shipwrecks
Better known for the crazy nightlife, Bali is actually a very good place for diving once you get out of the touristy areas. Located on the eastern coast of Bali, 2-3hrs away from the airport, Tulamben is quiet unassuming town for divers.
The most famous dive site at Tulamben is the 120m long USS Liberty Wreck, which was torpedoed by the Japanese during WWII. Imagine diving through a moment in history, and seeing how nature has taken over.
Wreck diving can be pretty nerve wrecking, because you can’t simply ascend if something goes wrong. But with proper planning and an experienced instructor, it becomes a very exciting experience!
Going wreck diving in Tulamben is highly recommended! You just never know what you might find.
Galapagos Islands - Snorkel with sea lions
While this might not be the most adrenaline pumping activity, it’s definitely one that you will not forget. I remember spotting the sea lions afar from the beach before deciding to swim out towards them. Little did I know, the curious creatures started taking an interest in me instead.
It ended up being the most memorable 45minutes of my life, swimming together with these beautiful creatures, exploring each others demeanor. The younger ones are really curious and will come close to you!
The best part is that this was all free. I simply explored some of the beaches where the sea-lions liked to hangout. Indeed, some of the best things in life are free.
Check out the video to see how we interacted.
Please don’t touch them though! They are still wild animals so give them the space. Parents are said to abandon their pups after they have been touched by humans. The bigger older sea lions are also more irritable so do be alert.