9 Adventurous Vacations that Awaken Your Senses

Last updated April 11, 2024

Not all travel is about sitting on the beach, being pampered at a spa, sightseeing or indulging in delicious food. Stepping out of your comfort zone not only awakens your senses, but also gives you something to smile about. A whole-wide world awaits. Doesn’t that excite you?

We’ve been dreaming far and wide of adventurous vacations. Trips that will take us away from the norm and out of our home offices. We deserve a trip that drives us away from these places we’ve grown to know all-too-well.

Nine Adventurous Vacations Around the World

Here are nine of the best adventures we’re thinking about that reaffirm our love for travel (and the world) plus get us exploring again. Make sure to save these adventurous vacations for future travels.

1. Trans-Siberian Railway

The thought of spending seven days in a closed train car probably doesn’t sound like a dream for many. That’s without telling you that you will be trudging through Siberia with complete strangers. Maybe that is thrilling to you. Most people would think-twice about it though. And rightly so.

This bucket list trip should be planted firmly in your thoughts. If traveling cross-country with strangers alarms you, bring a friend! This is an adventure the two of you will not want to miss.

One of the world’s most epic train trips is the Trans-Siberian Railway. Start in Moscow or even St. Petersburg and sit down for the ride. Coast through Russia’s Ural Mountains, the tundra and magical-yet-equally barren Siberia. There are three different routes to choose from. End your trip in either Vladivostok, Russia, or Beijing, China. Travel via Manchuria or Mongolia and gaze out on the changing landscapes, cultures and people.

If seven days on a train doesn’t sound like fun to you, break up the trip by getting off in various places. Irkutsk on the shores of Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia make fascinating stops during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

2. Patagonia

Visiting Patagonia along the southernmost tip of South America (or the bottom of the world) is one of the best trips you can take. This is especially true if you’re into landscapes and adventure. “Barren”, “wild” and “wind-swept” are just a few adjectives to describe this beautiful part of the world.

A good place to start is in Chile. Begin by driving the Carretera Austral (Austral Highway) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins before crossing into Argentina. Once in Argentina, continue driving south to the Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten. El Chalten is Argentina’s hiking mecca. If you are a thrill-seeker in need of stretching your legs, this is a worthy stop.

Once you have gotten your 10,000 steps in for the day, continue south crossing back into Chile to experience Chile’s most popular national park Torres del Paine. A trip to Patagonia is South America’s ultimate adventurous vacation. 

3. Antarctica

If the southern tip of Patagonia isn’t enough and crowds aren’t your thing, you can always continue on to Antarctica! This frozen tundra is the last great untouched wilderness. Sail through the icy waters, learn about the environment and how climate change is impacting it.

Keep your eyes peeled for orcas and walk along the last continent on earth. The South Pole does not disappoint.

4. European Road Trip

Not surprisingly, road trips are back on our radar. A European road trip allows you to visit many different European countries in one go. Whether you choose to wind around the Balkans, Western Europe, or perhaps even lesser-known eastern Europe, you’ll be able to explore different cultures. You’ll be driving through history and landscapes on just one cross-Atlantic trip. 

At the top of my European bucket list right now is a road trip starting in Italy’s Dolomites all the way through the Balkans and ending in Albania.

5. Luxury Galapagos Cruise

The Galapagos Islands are best explored by boat and for those of you a fan of wildlife, the Galapagos is one of the best adventurous vacations in the world to see native species up close.

There are many types of boats—from large cruise ships to small catamarans for about 16 people—and a few different sailing itineraries to choose from which consist of different islands and wildlife.

Here you can snorkel with curious sea lions and turtles, get close to both land and marine iguanas, walk with giant tortoises and witness some of the purest sunsets around from the middle of the ocean. 

6. The Philippines

There’s no better time to head back to Asia to explore more of its spirituality, delicious foods and delightful beaches.

The Philippines is one of those places that’s just got so many secret spots to explore. We might all already know the crystal-clear waters of Palawan from Instagram but the country is actually an archipelago with thousands of amazing islands, beaches and local culture to explore.

7. National Parks Road Trip

The ultimate anecdote to freedom is a road trip through U.S. national parks. Jump in your car, let the wind blow through your hair and reconnect with nature.

Choose a state or even a couple of states that you’ve always wanted to visit. Enjoy the open road, the incredible scenery, fresh air and oodles of unexplored trails. My top states for national parks are Utah, Arizona, California, Washington and Montana.

8. Down Under

There are many reasons to visit Australia—breathtaking landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, friendly people, walks and hikes, and amazing café and food culture. But some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are found here.

Sand and sea hold a special place in Australia with more than 10,000 beaches to choose from. Perfect for a favorite activity whether it’s snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing or surfing.

9. Mexico City

City breaks are definitely back on our bucket list radar and with that a trip to CDMX. Mexico’s capital never fails to impress with its sprawling, colorful markets, hip neighborhoods like Roma Norte and Condesa and an exquisite food scene that’ll leave you wanting to stay longer and longer.

Located just a short flight from many U.S. cities, Mexico City is the ideal excuse for a long weekend abroad.

About Vacayou

At Vacayou [pronounced VACAY – YOU], we believe that travel has the power to change lives. The power to revive, rejuvenate and redirect your inner wellness warrior. And that’s why we’re here. Vacayou brings the world of wellness travel to you!

No matter how far or how adventurous, our team scours the globe to curate the best in wellness travel. But the booking process can often be time-consuming and complicated. We’ve made it much easier for you to search, discover, and book wellness and active vacations. With Vacayou’s Instant Book, your dream wellness getaway is now just one click away.

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