It is now official! 2018 is supposed to be a very appropriate for adventures year! That’s something astrology confirmed so we needed to start planning our next adventure. I mean, the stars think we have to.
To get some more travel inspiration, we asked a few avid travelers to give suggestions on cool adventure places they visited. So this is how the “top adventure places to visit in 2018” was born. Enjoy!
Colombia is a country that is completely reinventing itself and the South American nation is now finally revealing its beauty to the world. What I loved most about Colombia is on the one hand the fact that it feels more like a sub-continent than a country and on the other hand its authenticity.
Colombia’s regions are in fact utterly diverse in terms of people, dialects, landscapes, food, culture and traditions. This makes Colombia an extremely tempting place for an adventurous trip. You can have a completely different experience with the costeños (people from the Caribbean) the paísas (people from Medellín) and the rolos (people from Bogotá). Every part of Colombia feels like a country and the people are always very eager to present their region’s cultural wealth to travellers.
The second reason why I loved Colombia is the fact that although it is starting to become very touristy, a unique sense of authenticity is still present in Colombia. The Colombians are trying very hard to establish themselves as a modern economic powerhouse in South America without losing their unique historical charm. This authenticity is visible when it comes to regional cuisines and dances which are all specific to Colombia and which you won’t find in any other country. The cultural wealth of Colombia is immense and hasn’t yet been tarnished by the advent of mass tourism, this could change in the future, which is why now is the time to visit this breathtaking country.
On that basis, Colombia is an excellent country for adventurers who like to immerse themselves in another culture while benefiting from utterly diverse regions, populations and local traditions.
Nusa Penida, Bali
Nusa Penida is the place I strongly recommend visiting as soon as possible. This is the largest of the three islands of Nusa, which are just a short distance from Bali. The other two are Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, which are connected to each other by a bridge. If you are looking for a new adventure and a place to escape from the crowds, Nusa Penida is your paradise.
I visited this island in the summer of 2017. To be honest, I had not even heard of it a few months earlier. In fact, I knew about its existence alongside some pictures on Instagram, where famous travelers had posted pictures of it. One of the most beautiful sights in the world is located on the island of Nusa Penida – Kelingking Beach.
I dreamed of this place from the day I saw it for the first time. It was love at first glance. I knew I wanted to visit it and it was on my birthday when I was there. You can go all the way from top to bottom. Only until a year or two it wasn’t even possible to descend, but local people built stairs.
Of course, Kelingking Beach is not the only beautiful landmark here. I would recommend seeing Angel’s Billabong, which is a natural lagoon. Also at a short distance from the lagoon there is a beautiful rock archway, formed by the destructive power of the water, better known as Broken beach (Pasih Uug).
The best beaches are hard to reach, but the mountain villages are authentic and still untouched by tourism, making the place attractive for adventurous souls. I recommend visiting Nusa Penida because of its natural beauty. Still a large part of the roads are in a poor condition, making traveling on the island uncomfortable. Here you will not find luxury hotels and restaurants like Bali, so keep this in mind. Typically, people say 2-3 days are enough to get around the island.
Unfortunately, in the coming years, I expect an increasing boom in tourists. The locals have already begun a process of building hotels, villas and private houses, destroying entire forests on the hills of the island. I would recommend Nusa Penida as a mandatory destination in 2018.
Perhentians islands, Malaysia
When it comes to travelling, 2017 was absolutely generous to me! I managed to top all previous years with all 60.797 km kilometers traveled in 2017 – each kilometer full of memories and endless emotions! But there was one place, which became the “winner” in my heart – Perhentian Islands in Malaysia!
The Perhentians are located in the warm-water coral reef of South China Sea, just 64 km south from the Thai border. Back in the days the islands were an important stopover for the trading route between Bangkok and Malaysia. Therefore the name – “perhentian” means “stopping point” in Malay.
There are two islands Pulau Besar (Big Island) and Pulau Kecil (Small Island) – they became my secret paradise and after arriving here, I didn’t want to leave! Never. Why secret? Due to the fact that the islands are actually not well-known (even) by the locals, they are still “virgin” in a sense of mass tourism, pollution, traffic and frivolous buildings. The Perhentians can rightly be proud of their taintless beaches, wild nature and highly biodiverse coral reefs! One of my absolutely favorite things about the Perhentian Islands is the fact that they have no roads at all – no cars, no motorcycles, no horse buggies, even no bicycles! Only the pure nature by itself!
My favorite activity there was definitely snorkeling! The water visibility around the Perhentian Islands during the summer months is absolutely excellent! I took three snorkeling excursions to the best spots by boat – I met my new friends from Kuala Lumpur, I found Nemo, I met all his family, got scared by the reef sharks, and then by the manta rays, and I saw the Turtles! The turtles that brought me to Malaysia…
Visiting Kiruna in winter is a real adventure. The town is about 250 km over the polar circle. At this time of the year the sun rises without appearing over the horizon and sets after 2-3 hours. The complete darkness comes at 14:00 and continues until 10 o’clock the next day. Typically, the outside temperature reaches -30 degrees Celsius. For some people this is a nightmare, but for Swedes it is a hygge – home-like coziness, warmth from the burning fireplace, light from the numerous lights surrounding the house with windows without curtains, the aroma of home-cooked pastries and mulled wine.
Here are some of the most exciting experiences that are unique to these latitudes.
- To observe the Northern Lights
If you’re lucky and the weather is clear you can feel the magic of the Northern Lights as you walk around the streets. But to see it in all its splendor, you have to be far from the city lights. For this purpose there are tourist companies that organize everything.
- Stay at or visit the Ice Hotel
It is rebuilt every year from ice and snow, with the interior and the exterior also changing with every new construction cycle. There is also an ice bar offering unique cocktails in ice glasses.
- Ride a dog sled
It is best to do it at sunrise – to see the endless Swedish taiga and not freeze. Be chill, everything is provided by local guides. You get instructions and special equipment that you put on over your clothes, two pairs of woolen socks, and two-size bigger shoes. You hug a bottle of boiling water and go. The whole ride is about an hour with a break for a hot lunch in the middle of the wilderness.
With a territory just half of Bulgaria, Costa Rica is this place on Earth, we truly enjoyed unforgettable sights, bold adventures, amazing beaches and a plenty of wildlife. To summarize our two weeks in Costa Rica in three words – colorful, adventurous, and full of life. We can also do it in two words – PURA VIDA (Pure Life) – Costa Rica’s mantra, motto, way of life!
Here are some places we would love to come back to:
- Zipline above Monteverde cloud forest in Selvatura Park – takes half a day and much more adrenaline. The harmony comes back after a horse ride to the nearby hot springs, where there’s only you, the horses, the natural hot pool and the forest.
- Nikoya peninsula beaches – getting from one beach to another by car requires driving on top of cliffs coastline and crossing deep water rivers. After this off-road trip we know how to cross rivers – either wait for a local to cross it first or plan B: search for the shallowest route on bare foots.
- Pale face monkeys in Manuel Antonio national park – the search for wild animals made us feel like real explorers…with some true challenges as raccoons stealing our banquette lunch and finding monkey mites on our bodies after.
- Drake bay – we are still not certain what we liked the most here – swimming among dolphins and whales or getting there by boat ride in a river full of alligators, while surfing the waves from the ocean.
- Rio Pacuare whitewater rafting – the best family/relationship team building we’ve ever had. Rapids class 3 to 5, no beginners’ route … and in the same time so much beauty to enjoy around. Just like in the real life, isn’t it?
Surf, yoga, trekking the Arenal volcano, exploring Corcovado National Park and the Caribbean coast, harvesting coffee are other faces of the amazing Costa Rica you can enjoy in 2018!
Puerto Williams, Chile
Puerto Williams is a small outpost on Isla Navarino crossing the Beagle Channel south of Ushuaia and has a population of less than 3,000. According to the bilateral agreement between Chile and Argentina, Puerto Williams is the southernmost city in the world, but it has been an overlooked place that offers a remote and peaceful ambiance, and several adventurous opportunities.
It has Dientes De Navarino, a 55.3-km circuit on the mountains offering the most grueling trek in Patagonia. The trail is slippery and has cliff drops, and is often ravaged by hurtling wind, rain, and snow. The path is poorly marked and necessary to go in groups, as well as resorting to both GPS and map to navigate the route. It takes four to five days to walk the whole circuit but the out-of-the-world landscape at every turn makes the journey worth it.
The city itself is surrounded by the Beagle Channel and white-dipped mountain range, and walking the circuit of Isla Navarino under the sunny afternoon with nobody around was pure joy. As for the food scene, the best seafood and empanadas can be found at the Dientes Del Navarino restaurant, and the fresh king crab meat at the local seafood market for purchase.
Puerto Williams is a base for the place of the extreme: Cape Horn and the Antarctic, where DAP airlines have flights to both places, where travelers reach for a visit to the protected, and least polluted, under-crowded place on Earth.
Where will the adventure take you?
So this was what the adventure travelers proposed for the coming year. We really love all the adventure places so we can’t wait to hit the road! We feel inspired and we wish safe and unforgettable adventures to every traveler!
Thinking of spring break destinations? Find our what bloggers recommended and why not consider some of the ideas for your next vacation?
We’re very thankful to all the travelers who contributed to this amazing list of top adventurous places to visit in the forthcoming year! May all the adventures to come be even more inspiring, breath-taking and life-changing for all of you!
What was the top adventure place for you last year? Are you planning to do something adventurous in 2018? Let us know!