Top Bucket List Experiences In The World – Sail+Leisure
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Top Bucket List Experiences In The World

by Simone Balman

Want to do something different? Something more interesting than city hopping? Trip Advisor has ranked their most popular bucket list experiences. And we have chosen our favourites. Whether it’s hot ballooning above the ruins of Luxor, or watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat, or exploring the Northern Lights, pick one, get motivated and get out there!

Red dunes and camel safari

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Bucket list

Enjoy the red dunes of Dubai’s Lahbab desert and a full range of desert activities without having to do the research.    Start with a 4WD dune bash, sand boarding, and an ATV ride. Visit the Bedouin-inspired Al Khayma camp for a camel ride, falcon interaction, and cultural activities before a starlit barbecue-buffet dinner and live shows to wrap things up.

Ocean Air Travels

Classic Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu

Cusco, Peru

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu along the ancient footpath of the Incas directly into Machu Picchu through the famous Sun Gate. Experience many historic Inca sites on the way, with expert, local, indigenous guides who share insider knowledge of their Inca culture. Cloud forests, stunning mountain scenery, gourmet chefs & scenic campsites await you on this pilgrimage adventure journey of a lifetime.

Alpaca Expeditions

Hot air balloon ride over ancient ruins

Luxor, Egypt

Get a bird’s eye view of Luxor’s ancient sites from aboard a hot air balloon. Head up in the sky with a local guide to point out the sights and to tell you about their history and relevance.

Hod Hod Soliman Balloons

Ziplining forest adventure

Rotorua, New Zealand

Lose yourself ziplining through Rotorua’s lush native forest that has stood for centuries. Voted TripAdvisor’s #1 Nature Activity in the world, this 3-hour adventure mixes fun, education, and conservation together to create unforgettable memories. Soar across 600m of ziplines and cross some phenomenal swing bridges. These vantage points will give you a whole new perspective on how special New Zealand’s native forests really are.

Canopy Tours

Sunrise Cappadocia balloon ride

Goreme, Turkey

Rising from the plains of Anatolia, Cappadocia is an ancient, fairytale landscape famous for its honeycombed underground cities and towering, chimney-shaped rocks. Get a bird’s-eye view of the unforgettable scenery from the region’s best vantage point: by hot-air balloon. You also enjoy a breakfast buffet.

Royal Balloon

Blackstone beach cliff jump

Aruba, Caribbean

Drive your own utility task vehicle (UTV) on this thrilling, heart-pumping off-road adventure.  Get behind the wheel to explore Aruba’s rugged, desert terrain. Visit the Boca Cave Pool for cliff jumping—another exciting adrenaline rush.

ABC Aruba

Arenales caves and river adventure

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Spend an adventurous day exploring rivers and caves with this small-group tour of the Arenales Caves. You’ll hike through rivers, visit an underground cave, and get the chance to do some swimming. You’ll finish off your day of adventure with a hike to a small hidden spring.

Puerto Rico as a local

Northern Lights photographic adventure

Tromso, Norway

Embark on an adventurous Northern Lights chase in Northern Norway. With a professional photographer as a guide and a small group, you’ll get plenty of attention and tips on how to capture the best possible photos of the Aurora Borealis.


Wilderness and wildlife glacier experience

Anchorage, Alaska

Get out of the city and deeper into the Alaskan wilderness. This tour takes you to Chugach National Forest, Beluga Point, Portage Glacier, and more to spot brown bears, wolves, bison, and belugas. Learn about the unique landscapes of Alaska from your expert guide.

Pic Tours Alaska

Hike to the Lost City

Santa Marta, Colombia

Experienced guides from the region instructed by SENA are trained to provide cultural, historical and anthropological information on indigenous communities and the area. We work hand in hand with indigenous and peasant communities and are committed to supporting the development of the region through contributions that contribute to a better quality of life for the locals.

Expotur Eco

Arenal volcano tour

San Jose, Costa Rica

bucket list

See the highlights of the Arenal area in just one day on this action-packed tour from San Jose. Visit a coffee plantation, stop at the La Paz Waterfall, dine on Costa Rican fare in a local restaurant, and go zip lining and rappelling through the rain forest and over the Arenal River. Then wrap up your day with a relaxing soak in a hot spring before returning to San Jose.

Go Tours Costa Rica

Discovery flight of the Molokai sea cliffs

Maui, Hawaii

Admire the world’s tallest sea cliffs from the air on this private flight from Kahului. Enjoy the comfort of your own private cabin that sits up to three people as you soar over the island of Molokai and its towering cliffs—the views from the panoramic, non-tinted windows are crystal clear and spectacular.

Maui Planerides

Desert tour from Marrakech to Merzouga dunes and camel trek

Marrakech, Morocco

The 3 days desert tour starts from Marrakech and ends at the Merzouga dunes. Cross the high Atlas Mountains with its pass of Tizi Ntichka, visit the legendary world heritage site of Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, visit Todra gorges and Tinghir oasis, ride a camel in Erg Chebbi to watch the color changing sunset and sunrise. Spend the night at a Berbr desert camp.

Morocco Global Adventures

Scenic flight of the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Australia

Get a rounder perspective of the Great Barrier Reef by viewing it from the air on this scenic flight from Cairns. Soaring over the UNESCO-listed reef allows you to take in its colors and appreciate its vastness. Enjoy unobstructed photo opportunities from your window seat as you take in such sights as Green Island, Upolu Cay, Vlassof Cay, and Michaelmas Reef.

Airtours Australia

Tandem paragliding flight in south Tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Rather than going to Tenerife’s famous viewpoints that often draw big crowds, this tandem paragliding experience allows you to take in panoramic views that most visitors miss. Fly over the island with a pilot who will assist you throughout the journey and provide expert guidance.

Paragliding Tenerife Brisa

Blue ice cave adventure

Hofn, Iceland

Go off the beaten track and into an isolated, difficult to access, ice cave on this tour from Hali. In a small group of no more than eight people, this is a more personalized tour than most. Travel by Super Jeep to the location, then hike across rough terrain to explore a unique natural ice cave (selected, according to the conditions, on the day) within Vatnajökull glacier.

Glacier Adventure

Riverside rafting on Clearwater River in Wells Gray Park

Clearwater, British Columbia

Plunge into a rugged landscape of white water and wilderness with a river rafting experience in B.C.’s Wells Gray Park. Launch into the pristine Clearwater River to hit a series of exciting rapids and chutes, where explosive Class III features send up churning waves and breaking crests. Slip into the water between heart-pounding white water, and soak up the serenity of British Columbia’s stunning interior.

Riverside Rafting

Sunrise visit to Angkor Wat and nearby temples

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The UNESCO-listed temple of Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s most visited attraction and it’s even more magnificent beneath the glow of the rising sun. On this small-group tour, rise early to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, then benefit from the cooler weather and fewer crowds of the morning to explore the surrounding temples. Then, visit Angkor Thom, admire the Gate to Bayon, discover Bayon Temple, and see the Buddhist temple of Banteay Kdei.

Angkorwat Shared Tours

Classic Serengeti safari

Arusha, Tanzania

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most-recognised parks in the world, visiting Serengeti National Park is a must while in Tanzania. This 3-day tour makes it easy to go by packing the park’s highlights into a short amount of time and offering budget camping accommodation, resulting in a more affordable adventure.

Gosheni Safaris



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