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I’ve Been to 85 Countries, Here Are My Top 10 for Outdoor Fun

In my twenties, I traveled to 85 countries. From Guatemala to Nigeria, Iran to Mauritius, Paraguay to Tunisia, there were so many beautiful places—many completely unexpected and full of adventure. 

If you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, check out my top 10 countries for outdoor fun.

10. Nepal

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Image by Kriangkrai Thitimakon

Nepal is an absolute paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, due to its stunning mountain scenery, cultural richness, and wide range of outdoor adventure activities. From taking on the physical challenge of trekking in the Himalayas and climbing some of the world’s highest peaks to taking it easy by experiencing some unique cultural traditions and festivals, Nepal is a place that definitely blew me away. If you need a rush of adrenaline, Nepal offers incredible whitewater rafting opportunities, paragliding experiences, and challenging mountain biking.

9. Japan

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Japan is a favorite of mine year-round. Climb the iconic Mount Fuji in the summer months or head to the world-renowned Hokkaido in the winter months for some excellent skiing and snowboarding. Whichever season you visit offers breathtaking views, plenty of outdoor fun. and unique cultural experiences.

Springtime brings the famous cherry blossoms to Japan, which draw crowds thanks to the wonderful atmosphere and plethora of photo opportunities. Wherever you visit in Japan, after all the outdoor activities you pack into the day, make sure to do as the Japanese do and relax in the evening at an onsen—you can’t leave Japan without visiting one.

8. Peru

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Peru is another country that blows my mind due to the range of outdoor activities. From hiking the multi-day Inca Trail to reach the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu to exploring the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest—one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth—this country is incredibly unique, full of stunning landscapes and a fascinating history.

Sand board down the huge sand dunes in the desert oasis of Huacachina, go ice climbing or glacier trekking in the Andes, go paragliding in Lima, or visit the Colca Canyon, which is almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Peru offers visitors not only adventure but also an opportunity to connect with nature and culture of the country. This is definitely a place not to be missed.

7. Iceland

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If you’re looking for a country with raw and untouched natural beauty, Iceland is your place. What I love about the land of fire and ice is that it offers stunning, unique, and diverse landscapes, including volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, black sand beaches, hot springs, and more—all within a relatively small area.

Explore ice caves or go ice climbing if you’re after a thrill during the day. For a more relaxed outdoor adventure, head to one of the many natural hot springs scattered throughout the country that are surrounded by incredible scenery. Explore volcanic landscapes, lava fields, and craters or take a ride on the unique Icelandic horses. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to witness the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at night during the winter months.

6. Thailand

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Thailand is a firm favorite for adventurous travelers, including me. With its breathtaking beaches and islands, there are ample opportunities for island hopping and water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Thailand isn’t just about water activities and beaches, though. It also offers incredible jungle treks, where you can visit hill tribes and impressive waterfalls—and you can also volunteer at responsible elephant sanctuaries. If you need an adrenaline rush, check out the rock climbing on the limestone cliffs at Railay Beach or the zip-lining canopy tours.

5. Kenya

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Seeing safari animals in the wilds of Kenya is one of my top adventure travel moments. Kenya is renowned for its wildlife safaris and the chance to see the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) in their natural habitat. Go on a land safari or even on a hot air balloon safari, allowing you to observe the wildlife and landscapes in a really unique way. Lots of reserves in Kenya also offer camping opportunities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the wilderness for the night—a must for adventure enthusiasts.

The time I spent with the locals in Kenya was so fun, so make sure to interact with local tribes like the Maasai and learn about their traditions and way of life. 

4. Australia

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Image by Matteo Colombo

Australia is an absolute paradise for outdoor adventurers. It is full of vast and diverse landscapes, unique wildlife, and so many adventure opportunities. Go swimming with whale sharks and humpback whales at Ningaloo, see the wild crocodiles being fed near Darwin, hold a koala in Brisbane, see kangaroos on the beach in Lucky Bay, or head across to Rottnest Island to meet the quokkas—the world’s friendliest animal.

Visit one of the thousands of beaches and try your hand at surfing, have unique aboriginal cultural experiences, visit one of the epic pink lakes, sleep in the Outback, or head across to K’gari—the world’s largest sand island on a 4×4 adventure. There’s honestly so much to do in Australia. I’ve been traveling around the country for almost four years, and I’m still not done.

3. Chile

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Image by Alvaro Espinosa Fotografia

Chile is a total haven for outdoor adventurers and one of my absolute favorite places to visit. It offers an incredible blend of extreme landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities. From the arid Atacama Desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes and Patagonia, Chile’s natural landscapes are incredibly diverse and breathtaking.

If trekking is your thing, the Torres del Paine National Park is world-famous for its stunning trails and views. Head up to the Atacama Desert to experience sandboarding and the otherworldly landscape. Of course, a visit to Chile isn’t complete without sailing through the stunning fjords of Patagonia and witnessing the incredible Perito Moreno glacier.

2. New Zealand

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Image by Michael Hall

New Zealand is a true world-class destination for outdoor adventurers, and the country offers so many unforgettable experiences. From snow-capped mountains to mesmerizing lakes and geysers, New Zealand’s landscapes are stunning and incredibly varied. Make sure to spend some time learning about the indigenous Maori culture and the incredible wildlife in New Zealand, including the native kiwi bird. You can have many wildlife experiences here, from swimming with dolphins to seeing penguins up close.

A visit to New Zealand isn’t complete without heading to Queenstown, known as the Adventure Capital of the World. Go bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, and paragliding in Queenstown—it’s the ultimate place for adrenaline junkies.

1. Brazil

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Image by Javier Ghersi

Brazil has such a diverse landscape that it offers so many outdoor adventure opportunities and earns the top spot on my list. Head to the magnificent Iguazu Falls on the border with Argentina, go kiteboarding or windsurfing on Brazil’s famous beaches, and head to the famous Rio Carnival to experience the biggest party in the world. If you need an even bigger adrenaline rush, you can go hang gliding in Rio or rock climbing at Sugarloaf Mountain—a challenging climb with fantastic views.

My favorite place in Brazil for outdoor fun is the Pantanal Wetlands, where you can see lots of caimans, capybaras, and jaguars. This is a hugely underrated part of Brazil that I 100% recommend.

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