Travel Picks: Top 10 spots to get an adrenaline rush

Fri May 10, 2013 11:08am EDT

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Everyone likes a bit of excitment
on holiday. But for those bold travelers who enjoy testing their
limits with exhilarating stunts, rides and thrills, the members
and editors of VirtualTourist (www.virtualtourist.com) have
compiled a list of their Top 10 Spots to Get an Adrenaline Rush.
Reuters has not endorsed this list: 
1.  Bungee jumping at the Macau Tower, China
    Most bungees are built into gorges or natural settings, so
how about jumping off a man-made structure into a booming
metropolis' harbor beneath you? This is just the case at the
Macau Tower, the world's second highest bungee jump, dropping
765 feet (233 meters) from a platform around the tower.  The
views are incredible, but also terrifying. You're dropping a few
feet from a steel tower with cars driving beneath you and it's
enough to terrify even the most confident daredevil. If you get
up there and aren't ready to jump the tower has other offerings.
 They provide skywalks so you can walk the perimeter of the
tower on the rim, but with a harness and without needing a leap
of faith. They also offer a Tower Climb.  Although it doesn't
involve jumping, it's even higher than the bungee.  Climbers do
a 328 ft. (100 m) ascent to the tower's summit at 1,108 ft. (338
m).
2.  Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp near Kathmandu, Nepal
    One of the most popular adrenaline treks among
VirtualTourist members is the trip to Mount Everest Base Camp.
While making it to Everest Base Camp definitely requires some
training and planning beforehand, few experiences can top the
view from the Nepalese side, which is at an altitude of
17,598 ft. (5,364 m). A VT member suggests The Upper Mustang
Trek, particularly the portion above Chele, if you want really
adrenaline vertigo inducing excitement. Some travelers also
consider trekking the Annapurna Circuit, and members of
VirtualTourist can advise you about whether or not you should
trek on your own, with a guide or porter, or with an organized
group.  Each of these means a different experience and pace.
3.  Running with the Bulls - Pamplona, Spain
    A national tradition that became an international sensation,
the Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, is a
once-in-a-lifetime thrill that many adrenaline junkies include
on their bucket lists. Popularized by Ernest Hemingway's novel
The Sun Also Rises, the Running of the Bulls occurs during the
San Fermin Festival, which runs each year from July 6 to 14,
celebrating San Fermin, the patron saint of Navarra. The actual
"Running of the Bulls" occurs every morning of the week and
serves a distinct purpose - the bulls must get from outside the
city to the bullring. Just being a spectator to this event is an
adrenaline rush!
4.  Zip lining in Costa Rica
    The jungles and animals of Costa Rica are a thrill in
themselves, but the vantage point and excitement of a zip line
takes the entire experience to another level. A zip line,
becoming more and more popular in tropical resorts, combines a
series of cables and platforms at different heights that allow
visitors to travel through the rainforest canopy and over rivers
and water features safely. While they are a total adrenalin
rush, they also serve as a unique way to see ecology, botany,
and animals up close in the wild. Zip-lines are increasingly
popular and can be found throughout Costa Rica, but some of the
best areas to find them are Monteverde, Arenal, and Manuel
Antonio.
5.  Surfing Tavarua Island, Fiji
    For those who want their adrenaline on the water, few spots
in the world are as remote and filled with guaranteed great
waves like Fiji. Tavarua Island, a heart-shaped spot located off
the Western coast of Fiji near Momi, is an island resort
encircled by coral reefs and the unique wave breaks that
accompany them. You'll need to take a boat out to some of them,
but then you're set for the ride of your life. The fantastic
surf spots near Tavarua include the notorious Cloudbreak and
Restaurants, a 200- 300 yard ride right off the island.
6.  Heli-skiing in Valdez, Alaska
    Many of us think skiing is risky enough as is, but if you'd
like to turn up the volume heli-skiing is becoming more popular
than ever. One spot growing in popularity is Valdez, Alaska,
which is incredibly vertical and local organizers promise six
runs a day and roll over runs.  If you only get to 5 runs one
day, you can ski seven runs the next day. The season in Valdez
runs from early February to the second week of May, but it is
suggested to get there earlier - once other North American areas
close in April, many serious skiers start flocking to Alaska.
7.  Ledge jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand
    New Zealand has long been a hot spot for adrenaline junkies
and extreme sports enthusiasts. A great spot for both is
Queenstown, New Zealand where visitors can experience the Ledge
Urban Bungy.  After taking the Skyline Gondola to the top of
Bob's Peak, you can luge down concrete tracks, hike the
mountain-top trails, or jump from the Ledge Urban Bungy.  Be
warned, it has a 'runway' so you gain a bit of speed, and the 
unique harness  allows jumpers to do flips, twists, and other
such stunts. At 1312 ft. (400m) above Queenstown, this activity
is not for the faint at heart!
8.  Paraglide above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
    Multiple VirtualTourist members suggested getting a thrill
while on the road by seeing your location from up above - way up
above! In Switzerland, one VT member departed Interlaken, which
is already quite high at 1870 ft. (570 m), by van and drove up
to the village of Beatenburg at 4,400 ft. (1320 m). Taking off
from a meadow high above Interlaken, paragliding provides
thrills and unparalleled views of Lake Brienz, Lake Thun, and
the town below. For those who are even more adventurous, you can
paraglide from the top of Schilthorn, which is 9744 ft. (2,970
m) high and was featured in a James Bond film.
9.  White Water Rafting in Africa
    Multiple VirtualTourist members suggested whitewater rafting
in different areas of Africa for an extreme thrill. One popular
spot is on the Zambezi, just downriver from Victoria Falls along
the border of Zimbabwe. This area has Grade 5/V white-rapids and
the best time to attempt them is from July to January. Another
member suggested the rapids along the Nile River near Jinja,
Uganda - also Grade 5 white-water rapids - although she said she
will probably never do them again, it was an experience of a
lifetime!
10. Rappelling in St. George, Utah
    A few of our previous suggestions will have you attached to
a rope, but none probably as risky as rappelling and
canyoneering in St. George, Utah. Rappelling is best described
as controlled descent down a rock face using a rope, commonly
seen on the cover of Patagonia catalogs, and a favorite of
daredevils all over Utah.  St. George is conveniently located in
the middle of many amazing rock formations areas including Zion
National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, and slot canyons, making
this the area where "canyoneering," or hiking, climbing, and
rappelling in narrow slot canyons, was born. St. George is a
playground for adrenaline junkies with outstanding mountain
biking, ATV trails, and an abundance of rock climbing.

 (Editing by Paul Casciato)