Just the mention of the word “adrenaline” is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the most relentless daredevil. Fortunately, there are countless destinations in every corner of the globe where true thrill seekers can experience the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Travelers with a need for speed should consider visiting the GP Experience at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. For a sum of $12,995, visitors channel their inner Lewis Hamilton as they strap into state-of-the-art racing machines and negotiate the challenging course at the only purpose-built F1 track in the United States. Rides with professional drivers are also available.
In Fullerton, California, ordinary tourists can fulfill their fantasies of becoming fighter pilots for a day at Air Combat USA, where they can fly a Vietnam War-era US Air Force fighter jet to simulate the thrill of combat with enemy craft. No pilot’s license is necessary for this exciting ride.
Tourists who want to experience the thrill of soaring through the air at incredible speeds flock to Zip World in Snowdonia, Wales. It’s home to the longest and fastest zip line in Europe, where people soar 500 feet in the air through the Welsh countryside at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. A single ride costs £60 (approximately $90).
Board sports have become a popular form of recreation throughout the world. For example, sandboarding, similar to snowboarding, but practiced on desert sand dunes, has become a popular activity in arid locales such as Qatar. The small Middle Eastern country is home to a vast expanse of desert where aspiring sandboarders take to the dunes, honing their skills while ultimately hoping to master their craft. Even more extreme than sandboarding is the sport of volcano boarding. At Cerro Negro (Spanish for “Black Hill”) in León, Nicaragua, participants ride a small wooden board down the slope of an active volcano at speeds approaching 30 miles per hour.
Although sliding on a plywood board down a volcano is a thrill in and of itself, the Villarrica Volcano Bungee in Chile is certainly not an experience for the faint of heart. Visitors take the plunge from a helicopter into the caldera of the active Villarrica Volcano. If that’s not heart-stopping enough, consider that jumpers do not return to terra firma until after their helicopter lands at the airport, half an hour after they take the leap of faith.
For mountain bikers who enjoy riding on the edge, within inches of disaster, North Yungas Road in Bolivia is the ideal place to satisfy a craving for adventure. The thirty-five-mile road from La Paz to Coroico features a plethora of challenging switchbacks and treacherous hairpin turns as it ascends the Andes Mountains before descending through the rugged Altiplano region and into the lush Bolivian rainforests, passing spectacular waterfalls and other scenic vistas. Because of the many steep cliffs along the route, along with a lack of safety features such as steel guardrails, the North Yungas Road is often colloquially referred to as the “Road of Death”. Tours are available; it costs $125, including bicycle rentals, to experience South America’s death-defying road.
Vacations are often an opportunity for travelers to explore their world and seek out new experiences. Travelers in pursuit of adventure should definitely consider exploring their world, seeking out new and different places in search of the ultimate adrenaline rush. Whether it’s sliding down a volcano in Nicaragua, flying a jet fighter in California, or soaring through the air on the world’s fastest zipline, thrills and adventure await in just about every corner of the globe.