The majority of us enjoy going on vacation and doing something relaxing — perhaps on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Then, there’s a small percentage of us who love more challenging adventures. It’s true, these excursions offer the chance at getting some amazing pictures, but you could also be risking your life. Here are the most dangerous vacation activities that tourists actually flock to.
Exploring Pripyat, by Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Pripyat was an idyllic city with great activities… until April 26, 1986. That’s when reactor number four at Chernobyl exploded, starting a fire that would burn for nearly two weeks, all the while spewing radioactive material into the air. It wiped out Pripyat, and 35 years later tourists are allowed into certain areas with relatively low radioactivity levels.
See what Prioyat looks like today and meet some of the residents who returned despite government warnings.
Volcano Sandboarding in Nicaragua
Are you bored with regular snowboarding? Then try sandboarding on the slopes of an active volcano in Nicaragua instead! This video shows a tourist actually doing it, but there are tons of these videos when you start digging online.
“We were backpacking though Central America and ended up in Leon, Nicaragua,” the video post reads. “The volcano I sledded down was called Cerro Negro a little ways from Leon.”
Whitewater Rafting in the DMZ
The rapids in the Hantangang River in South Korea are a pretty typical Class III, and in the Shutterstock image below it all looks really peaceful. But what adds the element of thrill to this adventure is that you’ll be a stone’s throw away from North Korea. And as many Americans know, it’s never a good idea to vacation in North Korea.
Cliff Diving at La Quebrada
This 148-foot cliff in Mexico is dangerous. Hit the water below at the wrong angle and you can easily get injured. The water also changes from a depth of 6 feet to 16 feet in a matter of seconds so bad timing could mean hitting the bottom rather than landing in water.
Think it’s too risky? Check out this video of Fletcher Cleaves, a paralyzed man who wanted to try it out. No, it didn’t happen from cliff diving. He was in a car accident freshman year of college that left him paralyzed, but he was determined to continue enjoying his life and here he is jumping into a Cenote in Mexico.
“Life is what you make it!” he writes. “It’s about how you respond to adversity! I refuse to let my wheelchair dictate how I live my life! I will never give up!!!”
If he can take the plunge, so can you. (But maybe in a smaller, safer jump first.) Check it out.
Hike the Smallest Footpath
Mount Hua is a picturesque mountain located near the city of Huayin in China. It contains the most dangerous hiking trails, known as the infamous “plankwalk in the sky.”
How crazy is it? Imagine hiking a slippery and muddy trail with no railings. Suddenly, the trail disappears, turning into a narrow wooden ledge, about 3-4 inches wide, held together by rusty nails. Sure, you’ll be in a harness and clipped to some wires, but below you is a 7,700+ foot drop.
According to Eric who posted the video below, “The paths have been reinforced due to a influx of tourists, but they are nonetheless dangerous, and carry a reputation for fatal falls. Although no official statistics are kept, some say that the number may be as much as about 100 fatal falls a year. Some of the more dangerous parts of the trails have names like Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice and Black Dragon Ridge.”
Check it out.
Renting Scooters in Bermuda
They look fun, and tourists love them. In fact, renting a scooter is one of the most common ways that visitors choose to travel on the lovely isle.
And though the sunshine and island breezes blowing your hair are enchanting, there’s a “but.” Bermuda is British, traffic lanes are reversed for most visitors, and there is a lot of traffic. Plus, most tourists don’t exactly know where they’re going — and haven’t ridden a scooter in a while (or ever). The upside? Hospitals on the island are very good at setting broken limbs.
Bull Riding in Branson, Missouri
You don’t have to leav the United States to get some crazy thrills. While there are warnings and waivers, the Lyle Sankey’s Rodeo School pretty much lets anyone ride a bull. They do try to pair people with bulls comparable to their size and build. But, let’s be honest, no one can guarantee you’ll come away uninjured.