Hiking and biking are tried-and-true ways to journey into the wilderness, but they aren’t your only options. If you’re drawn to the beauty of nature but extreme adventure travel just isn’t for you, try one of these fantastic trips that offer a new perspective on the world around you without demanding too much risk or athleticism in return.
1. Eco Snorkeling
If you love getting up close and personal with sea life, why not turn it into a symbiotic relationship? More and more tour companies are offering the opportunity to dive into amazing seascapes while working with the local community to enrich and enliven their shores. Seacology is one company offering various island expeditions for snorkeling travelers who’d like to give back to the world as much as they consume.
2. Dog Sledding
If your timing is right, you can experience the exhilaration of the vast, raw tundra as natives have done for eons. Head up to Alaska, the Yukon or Scandinavia for an icy adventure over the arctic landscape, where you will see northern wildlife by day and more stars than you could ever have imagined at night. But it’s not just about the land – since you’ll visit isolated northern communities, a sled dog excursion promises an enlightening cultural experience alongside the refreshing rush.
3. Horseback Riding
Whether you take a day to trot across your local landscape or you want to explore the farthest reaches of Mongolia, setting out on horseback is a beautiful way to connect with the flora and fauna around you. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a true beginner, this is a very versatile mode of transport: a calm spirit, respect for animals and comfortable saddle are all you need to enjoy the relaxing, rhythmic ride through untouched terrain.
4. Hot Air Ballooning
A fairly passive mode of adventure travel, floating in a hot air balloon is a tranquil yet eye-opening experience. A 360 degree view means there will always be something exceptional to see, and the close quarters of the balloon basket make the perfect setting for a family outing or a romantic afternoon. Popular places to take to the skies include the Alpine foothills, the sand formations of Cappadocia or the wild African plains, but you can find hot air balloon rides in many countries and many landscapes.
5. Canopy Tours
For a different forest experience, get above the beaten path. You will feel the forest life all around you as you traverse swinging bridges or zipline between tree tops, catching rare glimpses of animals that prefer to stay high up in the lush green canopy. You’ll need to be relatively comfortable with heights, but rest assured you’ll be safely harnessed to your zipline or guided by strong cables on the narrow bridges. Since there are many tours available across the globe, you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding a forest canopy excursion to fit into your holiday.
Guided tours or excursions promise a memorable experience, but they can be expensive. Shop around a bit to find the best value, and make sure you don’t need to provide any of your own specialized equipment for the trip. But you might want to invest in a good pair of appropriate shoes to stay comfortable and mobile on your outdoor adventure!