2. Cuba from 30 Adventure Destinations for 2016

30 Adventure Destinations for 2016

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Photo Modified: Flickr / Weldon Kennedy / CC BY 4.0

1. Maasai Mara, Kenya

Known as one of the best country parks in Kenya, Maasai Mara offers wide range of safaris – hot air balloons, walking, photographing…The reserve, along with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, forms Africa’s most diverse eco-system. The best time to visit is between July and October because of the wildebeest migration, famous as one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World” and also known as The World Cup of Wildlife. You can witness it during a special safari, of course. Even if you go off season, the number of animals you’ll see – from zebras and giraffes to lions, elephants and leopards – is incredible.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Bud Ellison / CC BY 4.0

2. Cuba

With or without official restrictions – a lot fewer after the large Caribbean island and the U.S. renewed diplomatic relations – visiting is easy. And once you do, the options of wild adventures seem endless – cave and scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking (epic peaks and steep climbs in Cuba!), and dancing in the famous Havana salsa clubs. Locals say that to see the “soul” of Cuba you have to visit the “Oriente,” which is the region east of Camagüey. You’ll see many historic sites, propaganda billboards and political thirsts. Some of the country’s most beautiful beaches are there as well.

Bjarte Aarmo Lund — Sommarøy

3. The Arctic: Iceland, Greenland and Norway

This is the last year to see the Northern Lights for another 11 years. We are at the beginning of the cycle which means that solar eruptions are less frequent. They can still happen anytime, creating powerful aurora, but they are unpredictable. So if seeing the Lights is on your bucket list, reorganize it and plan for 2016. One of the best places to go is Tromsø, Norway – you can see the natural phenomenon for more than 250 nights a year. Go on an aurora-chasing snowmobile or a bus tour. Greenland is another hot spot where you can see the dancing Northern Lights. Early fall is a good time to go. The best place to view them is the airport settlement of Kangerlussuaq. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, the best time to see the Lights is between September and mid-April because the nights then are very dark. Many visitors go on guided tours as opposed to drive by themselves, to make sure they don’t miss anything.

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4. Peru’s Sacred Valley

If you are looking for adventure, look no further than Peru’s Sacred Valley.  Take a risk and go rock climbing, horseback riding, zip lining and surfing. Take one of the Sacred Valley tours; go see the historical Pisac Ruins and Ollantaytambo Ruins. Bring your camera to The Salinas, as you will grasp sight of whole Cuzco area. Then, go hiking on the Classic Inca Trail and trek to Machu Picchu. Visit the Inca Bridge and the Paucarcancha Ruins.

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5. Palau

This tiny archipelago of more than 500 islands in the western Pacific Ocean has a population of about 20,000 people. If you enjoy all kinds of water sports activities, Palau is the place to visit in 2016. Its marine environment is incredibly well-preserved, which means you’ll see some amazing things if you dive or snorkel. The country offers a lot of interesting attractions for people who enjoy history. You’ll see traditional bai, men's meeting houses, and the secretive sites on Babeldaob Island. While there visit the Ngardmau Waterfall which flows from the nation’s tallest peak – 712 feet-high Mt Ngerchelchuus. World War Two relics can literally be found all across Peleliu Island.

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6. Fiji

Visit Fiji and explore the Sawailau Caves. According to Awesome Adventures Fiji, the majestic Sawailau Caves are one of the “must-do” activities for travelers visiting Fiji's spectacular Blue Lagoon. go on a Seaspray Sailing Adventure, Snorkel and swim with the sharks, take a Guided Summit Walk, go diving, guided kayaking, swim with the Manta Rays, go on a Blue Lagoon Snorkeling trip, go on a Sunset Tube Cruise, get an island massage, go fishing, watch the Meke Performances and fire dancing. Volunteer at sustainable communities, marine conservations or with children at school helping them with their education.

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7. Danube River

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe. As you can imagine, it can be accessed from many countries – all the way from Germany to Ukraine. One way to explore the river is going on a cruise. There are many options where the ships visit big cities as well as old-fashioned and picturesque villages along the Danube, including four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two countries that are becoming more popular for tourists, and though which the River passes, are Romania and Bulgaria in the Balkans. So if you don’t want to be on a ship for a week, go there and explore the complex history and fascinating culture of these Eastern European nations that have preserve their heritage. Discover the radiant murals of the painted monasteries, breathe in the scent of the Valley of the Roses, and spend an afternoon visiting with villagers in a tiny Transylvanian town.

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8. Bhutan

This Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge is a secluded land of monasteries and fortresses. If you are looking authenticity, this is the place. The country purposeful regulated the number of tourists to avoid being swamped with visitors. Isolation often means preservation. You will see the people wearing traditional dresses and the native Dzongka-style architectural features on almost all buildings. A ban on non-traditional forms of architecture is in place. Bhutan has a rocky landscape with snowcapped peaks and glacier covered terrain, so hiking will be an adventure there. The Himalayan peaks in the center and heavily forested foothills and subtropical plains in the south will definitely be a challenge. Visiting the Taktsang Palphug, also known as the Tiger's Nest, is a must. It is the country’s most sacred religious site. The 320-year-old monastery is standing on the edge of a cliff, almost 3,000 feet above the rice fields of Paro.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Reginald Pentinio / CC BY 4.0

9. Hokkaido, Japan

The most famous time to go is in the winter because of the Sapporo Snow Festival and Mombetsu Ice Floes Festival. Heavy snowfalls there are so common – 16 feet on average. But there is plenty to see all year round – this island in Japan's northern extremity hosts of more than 1,200 fiestas and events. In the winter, tourists enjoy skiing, snowboarding and playing with the powder snow surrounded by beautiful nature. Many go on ice sightseeing tours. Summers are absolutely beautiful. Whale watching, rafting and canoeing are among the most popular activities. Mountain climbing and hiking are also preferred activities due to the many camping sites all over the region.

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10. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is the oldest national park in Africa. It is home to gorillas, monkeys, elephants and buffaloes. Looking for adventure? Volcanoes National Park is offering you a life changing experience. Go gorilla trekking. Yes… go on a 3-day trekking safari, and watch the gorillas (transportation and accommodations are included in fee). After hanging out with the gorillas check out the Musanze Caves, and then go on a hike to the Dian Fossey Toumb. There you will experience a hike through the forests and up the slopes. Interested in the monkeys? You’re in luck! Make your way to the Golden Money Tracking.

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11. Philippines

The Philippines offers a wide variety of adventurous things to do! Go swimming in Kayangan Lake, visit White Beach, Yapak Beach, Nacpan Beach and the Small Lagoon. Take a tour of Malcapuya Island and visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Put on your hiking shoes and take a walk through the Samaguing Cave. Interested in the Philippines history? Visit the Ayala Museum, the Basilica del Santo Nino, the BenCab Museum and Calle Crisologo. For the ultimate adventure, go trekking in Luzon, diving in Mindoro and whitewater rafting in Mindanao. Oh yeah, don’t forget to visit “The Plunge” at the E.A.T Danao Adventure Parkland and go free falling from a cliff.

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12. Seychelles

This collection of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa has becomes a prime location for newlyweds because of stunning beaches and nice weather. But the country has a lot more to offer. It’s not only an ideal romantic destination. The more adventurous travelers will enjoy the jungle, walks along the coastline, boat excursions, glass-bottom boating as well as diving and snorkeling. Guided nature tours are offered for explorers who would like to see some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on the planet. The Seychelles is also one of the best places to try Creole cuisine.

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13. New Mexico

You don’t have to go outside the U.S. to find adventures. Swim in one of the world's deepest artesian springs. Visit the Ghost Ranch and see the dramatic landscape of red and yellow cliffs everyone talks about. The region is basically 21,000 acres of towering rock walls, intense colors and cosmic skies. It was Georgia O’Keeffe’s home. Hiking and horseback riding are among the favorite tourist activities. Want to see a volcano but Hawaii is too far? Visit the Valles Caldera – an 89,000 acre National Preserve by one of three super volcanoes in America. The park is famous for its spacious high mountain valleys and large elk herds. Don’t miss another natural wonder – the Tent Rocks. They are cone-shaped formations, which are the result of volcanic eruptions from 7 million years ago. New Mexico is not just a desert, you know. Scuba diving is very popular and one of the best places to do it is the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa. It is a bell-shaped pool that is 80 feet deep. The water is always pristine and warm – 61 degrees.

14. Uruguay

It’s always the best time to visit Uruguay. The weather there is mild all year round. However, the summer there – between December and February – is considered the peak season. Go any other time and you’ll likely to find huge discounts. An interesting day trip from Montevideo, the capital, is Colonia, founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a small charming town with a historic city center and chilled-out riverside bars. Going there you may get stuck in a cow-and-gaucho traffic jam but isn’t that part of the experience? Punta del Este is the place to party – clubbing all night and resting on the beach all day is the ultimate Punta experience. Go in time for the Candombe carnival, three months of festivities starting in late January. Go in early march to witness another famous festival – the Gauchos in Tacuarembó, Uruguay's cowboy capital. There are plenty of rodeos, skill contests, horse parades and reenactments of historic events.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jim Trodel / CC BY-SA 4.0

15. South Georgia Island and Antarctica

Since you’re already close to Argentina, why not jump to South Georgia, a mountainous haven amongst the cold Atlantic waters. This Antarctic Oasis, as it’s often called, is almost 75 percent covered in snow, ice, and glaciers in the summer. In the winter, for change, snow goes down to the water’s edge. Spending time there is the epic voyage. South Georgia is also the place to see crowds of hundreds of penguins. At the peak of the breeding season, the northern tip of South Georgia has more wildlife per square foot than any other place in the world. Exploring the icy wonder of Antarctica is a bonus and another once in a lifetime experience. Go hiking at Paradise Bay to a nearby summit and you’ll see some of the most breathtaking views ever. You’ll see gigantic icebergs and ice lands that stretch as far as the eye can see. Or sign up for the Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon. Running won’t be easy, though…

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16. Bozeman, Montana

Want to see some grizzlies? Bozeman then is the place to be. Watch the bears and learn how to handle them (if you ever need to). Winter is the time for amazing skiing trips because of the powder snow on the peaks at Bridger Bowl Ski Area. The waters in the spring are perfect for rafting on the Gallatin River and fishing. Hiking is popular in the summer, especially backpacking the Gallatin Divide. If you want to experience the culture, go in time for the American Indian Pow Wow and the rodeo. If you want to taste unique local alcohol, Bozeman has a lot to offer. Micro-distillery is getting popular all over the state. Bring the kids to the Museum of the Rockies to see one of the best dinosaur collections in the country. Or visit the Computers Museum for more educational activities. Stay at a ranch and learn horseback riding and how to fly fish.

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17. Borneo

Untouched wildlife and jungle where hill tribes live is a unique experience. Have you ever seen orangutans? Watch them frolicking in the canopy at the Semenggoh Wildlife Center, which is known as one of the best places on the planet to see the animals their natural habitat. Then visit Nanga Delok. That is where Iban tribespeople live in a way that has not changed for centuries. You can only go there by boat. If you feel like hiking, go to the “Roof of Borneo.” It’s the 13,435-feet peak of Mount Kinabalu, the highest on the island. The best time to visit the country is from March until October because when the island is at its driest. Aside from trekking in the jungle, many tourists go there for scuba diving. The best place is off East Sarawak and off the islands of Sabah.

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18. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you love being in the sky Rio de Janeiro is the perfect destination for you. Go parasailing, paragliding, hang gliding, parachuting and zip lining. Love water sports? Try their stand up paddling, kayaking, scuba diving and white water rafting tours. For those of you who would prefer to have an on ground adventure, try the Corcovado hiking tour or the Pico Da Tijuca Hiking Tour. You can also go biking and mountaineering. *Bonus: Try Rio’s 4 to 5 hour rock climbing trip!

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19. Andaman Islands, India

Get ready to spike your adrenaline! The Andaman Islands offer plenty of water sport adventures. Go scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing and water-skiing. Then try windsurfing, parasailing and paragliding. Relax at the Radha Nagar Beach, go on a speed boat tour, trek through the tropical rainforests, and go camping. Tip: Visit the Andaman Sports Complex to pick up your water sport toys! They provide sail boats, water scooters, paddle boats and more.

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20. Margaret River, Australia

If you are visiting Margaret River, Australia you must check out Lake Cave and Mammoth Cave. Relax on Gnarabup Beach, go on a nature and wildlife tour, go on a day hike, go surfing and even try horseback riding on the beach. For the ultimate adventure, take a ship to the Barren Island Volcano. This volcano is currently active; you may even see lava coming out! For great wine tasting try the “Wine for Dudes” tour, and the 6 hour “As U Like It Tour,” where you will spend the day visiting wineries all over Margaret River.

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21. Douro Valley, Portugal

Visit Douro Valley for one of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of Portugal. The beautiful buildings and riverbanks will leave you speechless and the plant life is incredible. The hills are covered in almond and olive trees. If you have a love for wine, you picked the perfect destination. They have been producing wine in this region for over 2,000 years. Douro Valley has a variety of vineyards, and incredible dining options. Looking for other exciting things to do? Go canoeing, biking, birdwatching and on an environmental cruise. For a day of relaxation, check in to the Douro Palace Spa.

22. Bocas del Toro, Panama

Looking for Caribbean beauty? Well, you have come to the right place. Take a tri p to Archipelago of Bocas del Toro. There, you can spend your days relaxing on 6 different islands. Looking for adventure? Try snorkeling on Isla Zapatillas, biking to Paki’s Point and swimming at Starfish Beach. Visit the Sea Turtle Conservation and sign up for a tour of the Bluff Beach Municipal Reserve. Looking to let loose? Get your buddies together and pitch in for a private yacht, have a few drinks at the boat bar and then enjoy their delicious food specials.

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23. Fez, Morocco

Bring your camera, Fez is the ultimate sightseeing destination! Take a sightseeing tour, visit Fes el-Bali, the Jardin Jnan Sbil garden, and the Tower of Borj Nord. Looking for more tours? How about trying, ATV off-road tours, Fez city tours, shopping tours, food tours, Archaeology tours and the Morocco countryside tour. *Bonus: Take a 2 night/3 day trip through the dessert on one of Morocco’s Camel Excursions. Experience multiple landmarks, watch the sunset over the Sahara dunes and stay in a luxurious desert tent!

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24. Chile

Visit Santiago for incredible views of the Andes Mountains. Chile is one of the rare destinations you can actually ski and surf in the same day. Take a stroll through the Torres del Paine National Park and Rapa Nui National Park. Visit Easter Island and have some water sport fun! Go to Anakena Beach, scuba dive, surf, snorkel, and even horseback ride. Also, check out Easter Island for the museums, volcanic crater and rock carvings. *Tip: Take a hike to the summit of Rano Kau for amazing views. Wondering what to eat? Chile has amazing seafood and a variety of exotic fruits.

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25. Iran

If we manage to keep politics aside, Iran is a must-see historically and culturally rich place. After all, it was the heart of the powerful Persian Empire. Iran is a complex place of searing beauty with shapely domes, mosaic-clad minarets and arched madrassahs set against a brilliant blue sky.  The country is becoming a ski destination. The easing of diplomatic relations is resulting in added flight routes, while travel insurance and visas are becoming easier to obtain. The reopening of the British Embassy this year is another good thing for Iran travel. 

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26. Cartagena, Columbia

Cartagena is full of beauty and history. Visit the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the Cathedral de san Pedro Claver, the Plaza Santo Domingo, Museo del Oro Zanu and the Naval Museum of the Caribbean. After visiting the landmarks, go to the Rosario Islands and watch the Oceanario Conomia show. Finally, get dirty and drive to the mud volcano. Once you get there change into your swimsuit, walk up to the top of the volcano, and then climb down into the volcano! Float on your back and have fun in the mud! *Bonus: They offer mud massages in the volcano.

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27. Maui, Hawaii

Visit Maui, Hawaii for the ultimate water adventures! Go scuba diving, snorkeling or on a boat tour. Sore through paradise on a zip line, and schedule a nature and wildlife tour. Visit Wai’anapanapa State Park, hike the Ke Ala Loa O Maui/Piilani Trail, go camping, and shore fishing. Into surfing? Well, get ready… You have the option to go windsurfing, kitesurfing, and regular surfing in Maui. When you’re ready to take a break from all the adventure, take a walk on the Pipiwai, and schedule yourself a sightseeing tour.

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28. Mongolia

Visit Mongolia for a great deal of history, landmarks and fun! Check out the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, visit the Zaisan Memorial, the Choijin Lama Temple Museum, the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Art, and National Park Mongolia 13th Century. For adventure, go on a Mongolia travel tour! Try the Wild Mongolia trip, hike to the peak of a volcano, visit Khovsgol Lake, explore the palaces, watch cultural performances and relax Tsenkher’s hot springs.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Ludovic Hirlimann / CC BY-SA 4.0

29. Romania

Romania is full of outdoor adventures! Take an adventure tour through the Romanian Mountains, go on a day tour through Bran, Pestera and Piatra, see the Bran castle (Dracula’s Castle) and take an easy hike to Piatra Craiului.  Visit the Parc Aventura Brasov, climb the trees, go zip lining and rock climbing. For some history and landmarks, visit the Sighisoara Historic Center, the Clock Tower, Astra National Museum Complex, Cismigiu Gardens and the Citadel of Alba Iulia.

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30. Vancouver, BC, Canada

The city has been the place to visit in Canada for several years now. People go for the food, artsy and cool neighborhoods as well as skiing in the winter. Even the rain is an attraction there because of how fresh and clean it is. Vancouver was chosen the world's "Most Liveable City" in 2010 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, an honor it’s earned eight times since 2002 alone. Grouse Mountain is the place if you need to relax both in the winter and summer because of the unique panoramic views it offers. Gastown is where tourists go for restaurants, galleries, and shops most of which are designed in restored Victorian buildings. The area is the oldest part of the city. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a must see. It was the city very first attraction – it opened in 1889. The surrounding park is gorgeous, especially at night glittering lights all over the bridge.

30 Adventure Destinations for 2016