If you’re dreaming of the next great adventure, a trip that pushes both borders and boundaries: look no further. Whether it’s deep meditation or deep-sea diving, adventure travel stretches you mentally and physically. It asks you to climb mountains, talk to strangers, and wade through treacherous waters in pursuit of fun, learning, and the story of a lifetime. The types of adventures available were already out-of-this-world, but like a fine wine, they’re getting even better with the years!

Zebras on a safari in Botswana
The types of adventures to be had out in the world aren’t so black and white, unlike these zebras on safari. 

What is adventure travel, anyway?

Adventure travel is the sriracha of globetrotting. It’s the kick in your trip, the snap-in your step – all the fun of travel with an extra side of ADRENALINE RUSH. Adventure travel programs are a unique way to discover new landscapes and cultures through immersion, education, and plenty of wild rides. For newcomers to the scene, this is a great intro guide to the many types of adventure travel. For seasoned adventure travelers, it’s a hearty helping of inspiration for the next expedition.

9 awesome types of adventures for 2021

Being a hip world citizen and keeping your heart rate up both come down to finding the freshest, funkiest types of adventures the universe has to offer. This year’s trends are hotter than ever (think: predators, paddles, and PUPPIES!). Staying home is so last season.

1. Safari

Is there anything like being within arms reach of a lion to prickle your senses and make you feel alive? Take a walk on the wild side. Channel your inner Indiana Jones with an adventure travel program, unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Safari travelers can expect plenty of hair-raising, tail-spinning sights in unlikely destinations.


Man doing yoga on the beach with blue skies
That’s right—you can go on yoga adventure travel programs because you’re a warrior, too. 

2. Yoga

Not all types of adventures involve death-defying antics. In fact, some of the most challenging adventures are within – the search for a soul at peace is a true internal Odyssey. Greet the sun, breath deeply, reach your toes into the Earth, and bring yourself to the heart center. Yoga adventure travel programs are a great way to get to know yourself and explore a foreign environment at the same time.

3. Summer camps

“That one time at band camp” became a cliche for a reason: because summer camp is the ultimate source of absurd and wonderful adventures – the kind you can embarrass your grandchildren with for decades to come. Count on plenty of crafting with natural materials, group hiking, and schmoozing with co-eds on your summer camp adventure travel program. The campfire songs and s’mores at the end of each night are just the icings on the cake.


Jumping off doc into lake at sunset, friends/people standing on doc
Not to toot our own horns, but band camp has nothing on this. 

4. Trekking

Are you one of those people who respond to “Take a hike!” with “Yes please!”? Then trekking is your adventure travel soul mate. So much of this big, beautiful world can only be reached by mountain trails and rugged footpaths. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just dipping your toes in the water, breathtaking (literally) trails around the world are calling you to put boots to dirt and hit the road.


5. Cycling 

Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Sure, bikes have been around for ages (since 1817 Germany, in fact), but what makes cycling a fresh adventure activity is the constant stream of new paths to explore. From pleasant peddles through exotic valleys to downright extreme mountain biking, you can make your cycling adventure as wild or tame as you please.

close up of hiking boots on the trail
*singing to hiking boots* Where you lead, I will follow, and—anywhere that you tell me to. 

6. Canoeing

Just because you’re not Ariel, doesn’t mean your adventure has to stop at the shore. Canoeing takes you where you’re legs cannot. Want to take your canoeing adventure to the next level? Try canoe camping – like backpacking, only your canoe is your backpack; hope off the boat whenever it’s time to set up camp for the night.


7. Kayaking

More than half of the body is water, so it’s only natural that travelers yearn to reconnect with their H20 roots. If you fancy buff arms, fresh air, and some rhythm in your adventure, you’ll love kayaking. Catch gnarly waves in a sea kayak, dodge swirling eddies in a river kayak, or chill out in a kayak on the lake. Any way you slice it, kayaking is a boatload of fun.


Bright green canoes tied up at dock
Make like Ron Swanson and paddle your own canoe. 

8. Rock climbing

It’s the new millennia, and humans can scale cliffs now. #EPIC! Rock climbing is a great way to meet like-minded people and spend a glorious day outdoors on your travels. Go with a program provider to make sure you hit all of the best rocks in town. And while your hands are screaming halfway up, remember how amazing the view at the top will be!


woman kayaking in mountain lake surrounded by forest
You can only get views like these from a kayak. 

9. Multi-adventure travel

Why choose one when you can have them all? If this is your motto (or you’re just indecisive), multi-adventure travel is the solution. Experience everything a destination has to offer by stacking many types of adventures on top of each other: kayak to the trailhead of a trek or participate in a cultural immersion program with a homestay. Bring it on!

Top 5 best places for all types of adventure activities

Adventure is not about where you are, it’s about how you approach the world. Nonetheless, there are a few destinations that seem to bleed the best types of adventures and are must-visits for any adventure traveler.

1. Laos

Just a hop-skip-jump away from the well-traveled tourist paths of SE Asia, Laos remains relatively undiscovered, to the delight of adventure travelers. Backpacking, kayaking, and trekking are particularly popular types of adventure activities in Laos.


Dogs pulling sled through snowy forest in Finland
The dog days are far from over with this adventure of a lifetime! 

2. New Zealand

New Zealand has many adventurous claims to fame, including but not limited to inventing bungee jumping, making the outdoors extra accessible, and being at the end of the world. A rural country created by volcanic eruptions, you’ll never be far from sand(flies), sea, mountains, or plains in New Zealand.

3. South Africa

From the surf of Port Elizabeth to the urban jungle of Johannesburg, South Africa is as wild as it is diverse. With incomparable wildlife, including rhinos, elephants, tigers, and giraffes, the trip is bound to be out of this world.

4. Argentina

Argentina boasts the tallest mountain in the Western hemisphere, impressive waterfalls, stunning coastline. Plus: world-renowned wine and steak to refresh after a long day of adventure.


Rock climber with gear on back repelling down
If you need to overcome your fear of heights, this is one way to do it. 

5. Norway

If seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, Norway may be just the viewing point you’ve been looking for. Trekking, cycling, and snow sports are popular and accessible activities in Norway.

Next steps to sign up for these types of adventures

This is like a “choose your own adventure book”, only real life. Browse the links below to find the types of adventure travel that makes your heart sing (and how to make the most of it), and let the adventures begin!


  • Save and compare your favorite types of adventure travel programs with MyGoAbroad
  • Get matched with programs with a GoAbroad Online Advisor
  • Pay for your adventures with travel scholarships & financial resources
  • Check out these Travel Bucket List Ideas for a TRUE Adventure Traveler
  • No matter what types of adventures you’re looking for, here are the: 8 Best Adventure Travel Companies for All Kinds of Thrill-Seekers
  • Still, feeling stuck? Keep reading: How to Choose the Best Adventure Travel Tour Companies

No matter what types of adventures you choose to embark on, we’re here to help you find the most meaningful way to do it.

Let the abundance of types of adventure activities inspire you

If you’re still wondering “What is an adventure travel?”—there’s only one way to find out. Go into the wild. Take risks. Challenge yourself. Adventure awaits.