You’re planning your next big trip—ready to break out of your shell and see a whole new part of the world—but where should you go?
There are too many incredible options to count, especially for adventurous travelers, but one area of the world you should consider is Latin America. Many of the countries offer natural wonders, rich biodiversity and eco-tourism is on the rise and has been for years. Often less expensive than European destinations, a trip to one of the many incredible Latin American countries is a great option for backpackers and other young travelers.
Whether you’re looking to see hammerhead sharks up close, climb an active volcano with crampons and ice axe in-hand or relax in hot springs after a long hike, you can find whatever type of adventure you’re looking for in Latin America.
These 10 crazy adventures are some of the best the region has to offer, but there are many more. Let this list serve as inspiration to visit and discover other amazing adventures along the way.
Paddle the Futaleufú River in Chile
With water surging from glacier-fed lakes in the high Andes, the Futaleufú River has thrilling rapids to satisfy even the most adventurous paddler, but it also has routes for everyone else. Unless you’re an extreme expert, stay away from the 14-mile stretch of Class V rapids that is the Upper Futaleufú and find thrills on the easier rapids. Known for its stunning aqua-colored water, Patagonia’s Futaleufú features incredible mountain views, comfortable river camps and plenty of out-of-water adventure.
SCUBA Dive off Cocos Island in Costa Rica
Take a trip to Cocos Island, a national park set 342 miles from the shoreline of Costa Rica and experience marine wildlife and an underwater eco-system you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The waters surrounding the island offer several dive spots famous for an abundance of exotic wildlife; the highlight is the unbelievable number of large marine animals like rays, dolphins and sharks. Visit to see hammerhead sharks, but be prepared for a journey—it takes between 30 and 36 hours to reach the site by boat.