Top 7 Destinations For Adrenaline Junkies

Craving an unforgettable adrenaline rush? Pack your bags, thrill seeker. We're off to the most popular destinations for adrenaline junkies worldwide.

For true adrenaline junkies, the next heart-pumping adventure is just around the corner. That’s a given. However, there are some places thrill-seeking travelers frequent more often than others.

Thanks to a recent study by Cool Camping, we now know the most popular destinations for adrenaline junkies around the world. They’re calling this ranking system of adventurers’ dream locations the “Adrenaline Index.”

While a great adventure can be found just about anywhere, these winning destinations are revered for their varied terrain, tourist-friendly atmospheres, and endlessly hair-raising options.

Let’s go!

Italy

Italy comes in as the adrenaline junkies’ mecca. Jampacked with adventurous options, Italy has 55 sites on the World Heritage List, which is more than any country in the world.

Sprawling with explosive volcanoes, river rapids, rugged off-road trails, and 5000-foot high base-jumping cliffs, Italy ranks sixth for the most outdoor tourist activities on earth.

three people base jumping off cliff in Dolomites, Italy
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It’s also beloved for its many independent and scenic campsites, ideal for those looking to rough it between all the adventurous activities.

Here’s a great list of Italy’s top 10 adrenaline rushes, compliments of BBC Travel.

Costa Rica

Considering its modest size, you might be surprised to learn that Costa Rica boasts 30 national parks, and they’re each a thrill seeker’s treasure trove.

Year-round, those seeking an adventure here come for surfing, mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, zip-lining, climbing, and bungee jumping.

person in Costa Rica river tubing over rapids
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One of Costa Rica’s major adrenaline junkie claims to fame is one famously high bungee jump. If you dare, you can freefall 143 meters into the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. While that might sound nerve-racking, those who’ve done it say it’s totally worth the view.

The reserve is home to the largest number of orchids on the planet. If that doesn’t sell you, it’s also home to 91 species of beautiful migratory birds.

For more, check out the best Adrenaline & Extreme Tours in Costa Rica.

United States

According to the Adrenaline Index, the U.S.A. scores incredibly high in outdoor activities, speedy conquests, and highest mountain categories.

snowboarding jumping in the air with deep blue sky and trees in the background
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If you’re ever in Alaska, head to Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley). It boasts the highest peak in North America and the 13th highest on the planet. Climbing this one is definitely not for the faint of heart. Reportedly, only about 60% of those who’ve attempted to reach the summit have made it.

If you have more of a need for speed than a desire for new heights, take a ride on the tallest and second-fastest roller coaster on Earth. Kingda Ka can be found at Six Flags Great Adventure Park in New Jersey.

Spain

For the best off-road trails and motorbike routes in the world, take a trip to Spain. As noted by Culture Trip, dirt biking, caving, rappelling, canyoning, scuba diving, and white water rafting are also popular choices.

With its 61,200 designated motorbike routes, you won’t have trouble finding exciting places to zoom around. For those into off-roading, Northern Spain is the place to be, primarily thanks to its incredibly varied terrain.

Take a ride through the desert to the Catalan Smugglers’ trail that whip and wind through the Pyrenees.

person repelling down Canyoning in Furco Canyon, Broto, Pyrenees, Huesca Province, Aragon, Spain.
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Much of the adrenaline junkies’ spots you’ll find in Spain are just as dedicated to tourism as preserving nature. So with every adrenaline rush, you’ll be taking in truly magnificent sights.

Here’s a list of the 10 best canyoning and rappelling tours in Spain.

Mexico

Mexico rounds out the top five, ranked highly for outdoor tourism activities, off-road trails, and motorbike routes as well. But it’s the unmatched natural resources that really put Mexico in a league of its own.

When it comes to jaw-dropping and diverse landscapes, Mexico comes in first. In turn, there’s truly no end to the types of thrill-seeking activities you’ll find here. And if there’s one place to go cave diving, adventurers around the world say that Mexico is the winner.

man looking at school of Big eye Trevally Jack, (Caranx sexfasciatus) Forming a bait ball or tornado with a diver in Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico.
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For those who can handle being squeezed into tight spaces, go Freshwater cave diving in the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s like an entirely different world down there and the water is crystal clear. Or, if you want an unforgettable view of the Pacific Coast, skydiving in Ixtapa comes highly recommended.

Ever wanted to climb a glacier? Believe it or not, you can check that one off your bucket list in Mexico. For those who want to be pushed to their limits, the glacier at the top of Pico de Orizaba sits 16,000ft in the air.

Columbia

There’s a little something for almost every adrenaline junky in Columbia, especially when it comes to water sports like rafting, diving, and windsurfing.

Also, have you heard about hydroflying? With a hose connected to a jet ski, you can soar high above the ocean waves. Just hold on tight. These days, the Columbian Caribbean has become one of the most popular destinations for those looking to give the extreme sport a whirl.

And that’s not all you’ll find here.

 silouhette of person windsurfing at sunset against deep orange sky
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A true thrill-seeker’s paradise, Columbia offers some of the best “off the beaten path” experiences anywhere. Maybe you’re in the mood for a multi-day trek, some rugged camping, paragliding, or ATV-riding. Perhaps you want to go canoeing deep into the Amazon Rainforest.

Whatever you’re after, you’ll have no trouble finding adventures here.

France

Last but certainly not least, France comes in seventh. Surrounded by spectacular backdrops, you’ll discover countless ways to get out of your comfort zone and have some high-intensity fun.

back of person Mountain biking in Chamonix Valley, France
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Sky diving, bungee jumping, acro-paraglyding, rafting, mountain biking, climbing, high diving, and Via Ferrata are all ranked highly here.

If you’re really looking to do as the French adventurers do, try La tyrolienne géante. Essentially, it’s like a daredevil form of zip lining. You’ll be traveling across a mountain-high zip wire up to 1,500 meters in length.

Craving more? Here’s a thrill-seekers pro guide to France.

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