I’m not going to lie, I get serious envy whenever I see other people’s travel photos and all of the cool things they get to do. This always seems to happen when I’m in my office at work, eyes glazing over and going cross-eyed from staring at too many Excel documents.
I know people are out there riding camels in Jordan, bungee jumping, going on safaris, and generally just living it up around the world. I do a lot of really cool things too, but I think we are all in the same boat once we get back to work and the real world…returning from a trip just means it is time to plan the next epic bucket list activities!
In any case, I decided to sit down with some of the most exciting travel bloggers out there and ask them about their top travel-related bucket list activities. Honestly, I couldn’t even dream up some of these, so buckle up and enjoy! I know my bucket list activities grew by a few items after reading this list!
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1. Paraglide over the Swiss Alps
“Switzerland may be one of the most naturally beautiful countries I’ve ever visited. There are so many adventurous ways to explore the country, but one of the coolest bucket list activities I found there was paragliding over the Swiss Alps, which you 100% need to put on your Interlaken bucket list. Picture running off the side of a mountain, slowly gliding over snowy mountains, and enjoying the best views you could ever dream up.”
–Melissa, Maps & Merlot
2. Camp on a Salt Lake in the West Australian Desert
“Imagine sitting down, wine in hand, and watching the most beautiful sunset of your life. As you watch the sun go down, the stars come out one at time until the entire sky is filled. All of a sudden you’re pointing out the Milky Way, constellations, satellites, shooting stars and different planets (spoiler alert- Saturn flashes different colors and yes it’s just as cool as you think). You’re completely alone in the middle of the West Australian Desert on a dried up salt lake; it’s just you and the stars. There’s nothing more magical than feeling so at one with nature and being absolutely breathless when you look up into the sky.”
–Dani, Dani Naughton
3. Feed Flamingos in Aruba
“Flamingos have always fascinated me with their stick-like legs and pretty pink feathers. In Aruba on Renaissance Island, I had the chance to feed a group of friendly flamingos while relaxing on the private island. Tip: A day pass costs $99 per person and includes lunch and a drink on the island, but we found it was more affordable to stay the night at $150 (for my boyfriend and me). Hotel rates vary by season and availability so choose what works for you!”
–Melissa, The Wanderful Traveler
4. Peer into an Active Nicaraguan Volcano
“There’s nothing like the travel activities that humble you: the ones that show you how small we all are in the face of the great and powerful Earth. We were reminded of that truth again recently while peering into the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua.
At night, travelers have the lucky privilege of visiting the volcano crater, and there is no shortage of humbling sights: the view of the lava splashing below, the stars staring down from above, and the enormous hole left from where the volcano once erupted. Nothing was quite as unnerving though, as the sound; as the lava moved, you could hear the Earth groan underneath you, a constant reminder of what is lurking below the surface of the world.”
–Kate, Our Escape Clause
5. Go Horse Trekking in Queenstown, New Zealand
“What could be better than enjoying the majestic and untouched Queenstown Mountain ranges than by a saddle viewpoint? Horse trekking in the heart of Queenstown brings you the perfect marriage of scenery and serenity. Embark on a ride through the roughly covered hills and marshy river ebbs and flows. There are several companies offering such experiences, but I found the Moonlight Stables, operating since 1962 with “Lord of the Rings” featured horses to be the best of the bunch.”
–Janine, Fill My Passport
6. Snowmobile Across Europe’s Largest Glacier in Iceland
“Exploring Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, is a must-do on any trip to Iceland. Glacier hikes and ice climbing tours are offered, but the best way to see it is zipping across the snow atop a snowmobile. Once you’ve had your fill of adrenaline, you can relax by exploring a stunning blue ice cave carved out by a river below the glacier. It’s an experience unlike any other, and definitely one of the top bucket list activities!”
If you don’t have time to make it to Vatnajökull, this guide to Iceland’s Golden Circle will give you an option to snowmobile across Lanjokull Glacier. I can personally confirm this was an absolutely exhilarating experience.
–Kris, Nomad by Trade
7. White Water Raft on the Ocoee River
“For a pure adrenaline rush and scenic beauty, you can’t beat whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. The Ocoee River is located in East Tennessee and was the home for the kayak and canoeing events in the 1996 Olympics. A 4.5 mile stretch of 20 back to back category III-IV rapids, coupled with the beauty of east Tennessee, the Ocoee River should be on the bucket list of every outdoor enthusiast!”
–Carmen & Joe, Pack Your Baguios
8. Live with an Indigenous Community in the Amazon
“My experience living with an Indigenous community in the Amazon was life changing. I volunteered in their animal refuge, living alongside rehabilitated monkeys, sleeping next to tarantulas, and I even had the opportunity to rescue a baby Ocelot from illegal trade. Living in the Jungle, I was shocked to see the blatant corruption and destruction behind deforestation and the illegal poaching industry. However, I learned the hard work and everyday customs of the Indigenous people and experienced the beauty of a hidden life and rare culture.”
–Makenzie, Chasing Coordinates
9. Disconnect from the world at a Nepalese Tea Farm
“We stayed on a tea farm in Eastern Nepal, completely disconnected from the Western world. With no internet, no hot water and a limited supply of electricity we got to experience a completely different way of life.
Not only did we learn tea farming, but this experience also allowed us to learn about ourselves and each other. At the tea farm, we stayed with a family who welcomed us with open arms; at the beginning, we thought we had so much to offer them, coming from a part of the world that is much more advanced. However, it turned out to be the other way round. Our time spent at the tea farm is an adventure we will recommend to everyone we meet.”
–Rebecca, Always a Friday
10. Snorkel with Turtles in Indonesia
“Snorkeling is incredible; being able to put your head underwater and discover a new world blows my mind a little bit every time. An experience like no other is seeing a turtle serenely glide past you. There’s something about these creatures that makes seeing one a moment you’ll never forget; this is definitely one of the coolest bucket list activities to consider!”
–Laura, Wander with Laura
11. Watch a Sunset on Koh Lanta
“I’m not normally one to gush about sunsets, and it seems like an overreaction to declare this as one of the top bucket list activities, but those Koh Lanta sunsets are something else. The west coast of Koh Lanta looks out to the Andaman Sea, and every night the most spectacular light show occurs – for free.
This photo was taken watching the sun slip below the horizon from the glorious Pimalai Resort’s famous infinity pool. Book an indulgent night at Pimalai, live like a king for 24 hours, and enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets.”
12. Visit the Wild Orangutans of Sumatra
“As an avid animal lover, I had always dreamed of seeing the critically endangered orangutans in the wild. When I decided to visit Sumatra, I began searching for ethical ways to see them and stumbled across a National Park called Ketambe. There, I embarked on a 4 day Jungle Trek. On my third day, after seeing 3 different breeds of monkeys, visiting beautiful hot springs and camping in the heart of the forest, a huge King orangutan swung across the trees! Watching him for an hour and a half in his natural habitat, eating, playing and living completely free was truly a once in a life time, pinch me moment and is something I will never forget.”
–Ella, Travel Gig
13. Ride a Horse to Paricutin Volcano in Mexico
“Mexico is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world called the Paricutin volcano. The only way to get to this wonder is by horseback from a small village (Angahuan) in Michoacan. The horseback ride will take you through lava fields and a submerged village with only the church spire is visible. At the volcano, you’ll be able to climb it, explore the crater and you’ll probably be the only one there!”
–James, Only by Land
14. Take a Gondola Ride through the Canals of Venice
“One of the coolest bucket list activities I’ve ever done is taking a gondola ride in Venice, Italy. Growing up, I’d see the magical pictures and daydream about one day visiting Venice, but actually getting to explore the canals was something else. I felt like I had stepped back in time and was getting a glimpse into the life of Old World Italy. It’s an experience I will never forget! This is definitely a top activity in Venice, Italy.”
–Melissa, Maps & Merlot
Tell me—do you have a bucket list, and if so, what’s on it? The world is such an amazing place and I’m always looking for inspiration! Let me know in the comments