Are you feeling a bit tired of the same type of holiday? Back to the routine vacation? Before you do and at least once in your life, we recommend you go on a unique, extreme adventure. One that will make you see life and yourself differently. We´re not talking hiking and biking but rather cave expeditions in Spain, white-water rafting in South America and extreme safaris in South Africa. For the ultimate travel adventures, here are our top picks.
Cave Expeditions in Spain
Northern Spain and the Basque Country will greet you with state of the art cuisine, stunning cultural cities such as Bilbao and picturesque villages throughout Santillana del Mar. You´ll be able to indulge in these treats before or after your cave expedition adventure. Northern Spain has some of the oldest artistic representations in human history and the caves at Puente Viesgo are an important part of Palaeolithic cave art. Recently identified as the oldest cave painting in the world, the artwork in El Castillo cave is a must. Las Monedas cave is the longest in Puente Viesgo and close to the Altamira Museum.
An hour and a half drive from Bilbao is Atapuerca, the site that holds the oldest known fossil remains in Europe. Also, in Northern Spain, in the region of Cantabria, you can venture into World Heritage–listed caves at Hornos de la Peña where you will be stunned by the large paintings and unusual figures. International universities, academic and archaeology institutions and National Geographic all organize special tours with expert guides but if you´re searching to bypass show caves for tourists and really want some adventure, the Gesaltza cave system, with over 9 miles of interconnected caves is the place to start. Vertical shafts, caverns and adventure is a given. The Urkiola National Park provides access to many caves but some entrances are private property. The best advice is to get in touch with the Spanish Federation of Spelunkers (only in Spanish) who will provide permission to access these private and exclusive caverns.
White-water Rafting in Argentina
Argentina is famous for its European flavour, tango, wine, quality meat and vast, beautiful landscapes. Take a day or two to explore Buenos Aires and then choose from half day to weeklong white-water excursions. We recommend you go rafting with a commercial outfitter who will advise you on what trip suits you best. An hour and a half away from Buenos Aires, are some of the world´s most spectacular waterfalls. The Devil’s Throat gorge has a drop 230 feet high. Other highlights in Argentina include rafting in the Salta region and the Iguazu Falls, near the Brazilian border. Here are the best rivers for your ultimate adventure:
The Alumine River is perfect for beginners while the Atuel, the longest river in Argentina and the Corcovado river have a variety of white-water rapids for the less experienced and experts alike. The Hua-Hum River, which literally means “Hole in the Sky” in Mapuche, is considered one of the most beautiful in South America. One of the oldest protected regions in Argentina is Patagonia and the Nahuel Huapi National Park, which boasts some of the best rafting near the Chilean border. Before you start packing, make sure you contact the World Rafting Organization.
Extreme Safaris and Adventures in South Africa
South Africa seems it have it all. Picturesque wine producing villages, hip and chic cities such as Cape Town and exhilarating adventures. From diving with the sharks, to bungee jumping off the highest bridge in the Southern hemisphere or quad biking through lush forests. Care to look at a 5-meter shark up close? How about paragliding from Victoria Falls? Fly into Cape Town, the coolest and hippest city in all South Africa and get ready to have a once in a lifetime experience. We recommend you contact a professional outfitter such as Xtreme Cape Town Adventures.
After this trip, you´ll experience the world differently.