10 ACTIVE VACATION SPOTS
By: Amanda Cubello
Your guide to finding the most adventurous vacation destinations around the world
Does resting on beach chairs, smelling the salty sea breeze, while sipping on coconuts sound like the perfect vacation?
If the answer is no, you're an outsider, and by this I mean an active being. One whose senses are always open – always pushing your body, mind and soul a little farther than you imagined. SKYN goes international with the best vacations around the world for staying active. From rock climbing in Colorado, to skiing in the Swiss Alps, all the way to scuba diving in Belize, this vacation list has a destination for anyone looking to broaden their passport stamps.
Who said relaxation is the ideal vacation? Let's start exploring.
10. THE GRAND CANYON
Colorado charms with this ‘Wonder of the World.’ This massive chasm filled with unique geologic color creates a canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. White water rafting, rock climbing, and guided mule tours are just some of the activities you can do to explore the immensity of this natural formation.
Approximately 4.5 million people per year visit this red rock oasis. If you're looking for an escape from society, steer clear from well-known areas such as The South Rim –home to the Grand Canyon Village and the well-worn Bright Angel Trail. For a true out-door escape, head toward the North Rim, a remote section of the canyon -- home of backwoods camping and hardcore hiking, according to the National Park Service.
9. GREAT BLUE HOLE OF BELIZE
Known as one of the best dives in the world, this destination will awaken all of your senses. The perfectly circular hole of blue abyss is 984 ft. across and 410 ft. deep and is considered the world’s largest natural formation of its kind. It is also said that the water here may be the bluest on earth and home to an abundance of sea life including tropical fish, nurse sharks, bull sharks, and astounding coral reef.
8. KJERGABOLTEN ROCK
This massive suspending boulder will have any adrenaline junkie covered in goose bumps. The rock, whose name stems from its location, Kjerg, Norway, is wedged solidly in a deep crevice dating back to the ice age. Hanging more than a heart-pounding 3,000 ft. above ground, this natural formation calls to anyone willing to put his or her fear to the test. With no climbing gear needed, Kjergabolten Rock can be reached by hiking five hours round trip.
7. SWISS ALPS
If winter is your season, you'll love exploring the Swiss Alps. The major destinations for skiing and other winter sports are located in Valais, Bernese Oberland and Graubunden. Fresh powder will be at your doorstep, along with breath-taking views of white-coated mountains. Zermatt, the most popular mountain resort, sits below the iconic pyramid-shaped Matterhorn Peak. This resort has the highest skiing is Europe while guaranteeing open slopes 365 days a year (you should start packing your gear right now).
If skiing isn’t your forte, funiculars, gondolas and cable cars can carry you up to the snow-capped peaks for high-elevation wonders.
6. MACHU PICCHU
Located in the Cusco Region of Peru, this 15th-century Inca citadel is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The stone city sits 7970 ft. above sea level and was built around 1450 during the height of the Inca Empire, although it was abandoned 100 years later due to the Spanish Conquest. The Inca Trail, the path most taken to the scared temple, is visited by roughly 75,000 people per year, and can be completed in a two or four-day trek. The Sacred Valley and luscious green rain forests can be seen from the top of this ancient civilization.
If you're lucky, you may be able to witness some risky base-jumpers take the prohibited plunge.
5. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Immerse yourself in the back country at the world’s first national park. Volcanic hot springs will draw you in while jaw-dropping mountain ranges that stretch from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, will have you itching to hike and soak in the beauty. This 2,219,789-acre park is home to thousands of plant and wildlife species including bears, wolves, moose, and elk.
4. THE DOLOMITES
The dramatic jagged-edged pale mountains have some of the most serene landscapes imaginable. Located in northeastern Italy, this mountain range is widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world, along with being one of the most spectacular cycling regions. From the adventurous biking trips to the more leisurely tours, there’s a route for everyone. The Sellaronda loop is considered one of the best cycling routes; with 4 passes and 4 valleys around the Sella Massif, the views will be unforgettable.
3. TORRES DEL PLAIN NATIONAL PARK
Spend the week exploring Chile's national park and experience turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the peaks above. Take advantage of the 17 hours of daylight in the summertime and watch the rocky formations turn a reddish purple glow at sunset. Make sure to secure some time to drift along the colossal blue waters of Lake Grey, by kayak or sail boat, to capture the floating icebergs and ice sediment that are sprinkled throughout this International Biosphere Reserve.
Take a journey to northwest Canada and experience the one of a kind, neon-green, northern lights that arrive each fall. Mountain bike or backpack through alpine meadows strewn with wildflowers all the way to aspen ridges, opening views to the 70 wilderness rivers and scenic lakes below. Paddling enthusiasts will not be disappointed with these fresh waters. From the classic Yukon River to the remote Snake River, there's a route for every level.
1. EVEREST BASE CAMP
Everest’s daunting summit soars looms above as you climb to the camp that starts the journey for extreme climbers. At 1750 ft. this expedition is still considered an adventure of the highest sort. Immerse yourself in the Nepal culture as you travel through mountain monasteries, meet the Sherpas, and watch sunrise hit the side of Everest, creating a blanket of shimmery snow from above. Expeditions can last from 7-23 days depending on which climb suits you best.
By: Amanda Cubello | @amanda_cubello
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