Five Best World Heritage Sites for Adventure Travelers
Did you know that UNESCO world heritage sites are some of the most adventurous travel destinations in the world? Add some of these bold stops on your next outdoor travel adventure!
Are you the bold one in your group always looking for the next outdoor adventure? Would your friends describe you as an enthusiastic ball of energy ready to engage in an authentic travel experience? These five spots are historic UNESCO world heritage destinations that should be on your radar not just for the unique adventurous activities you can participate in, but also the importance to its people and place. So load up that sturdy backpack and lets go!
1. Flightsee Over Kluane National Park and Reserve in Canada’s Yukon Territory
Put your seat belts on for the ride of your life in a four-seater that glides over the glaciers and snow capped mountain peaks of this national park. Good weather conditions means you get closer to the mountains to admire expanses of white in every direction. That little black spot moving on the ground is probably a grizzly bear, caribou, or some mountain sheep making their way through the wilderness, which is part of the largest non-polar icefield in the world. Nope, you don’t want to be down there with them, but put down that camera and simply take in all the beauty on an exhilarating small plane ride.
2. Climb the Pyramids in Mexico’s Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
You will know this was the holy city where the gods were created per Aztec history when you get there. Just a few miles outside of Mexico City are the ruins of monuments built in the 7th century A.D. and before. The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon are geometrically laid out structures symbolizing Mesoamerican culture. A mini backpack with some sunscreen and water are a must. Adventurous travelers can take the uneven stone stairs to the very top of each of these temples for spectacular eagle’s eye views, but be warned that high winds that can knock you off the edge if you aren’t careful.
3. Explore the Underground Salt Mines in Southern Poland’s Wieliczka
This adventure travel destination is an experience beneath ground level thanks to the salt mining industry the Poles had from the 13th century. A simple crossbody or handy waist pack with a few essentials will do as you wander through this maze of rooms and galleries that includes artwork, sculptures, multiple chapels donning exquisite chandeliers, all made from salt. Access to this UNESCO World Heritage Site is via a historic mining shaft elevator (beware of cramped quarters for a few seconds) as you plummet some thousand feet below, or choose to tackle about 800 steps down and up. Rest assured there is a salty visual treat at every turn.
4. Horse-Ride Across Tequila’s Agave Landscape in the Mexican State of Jalisco
Fields of giant blue agave crops dot the fields between the foothills of the Tequila Volcano and the Rio Grande River, all of it viewable by horseback. Not only has this plant been used since the 16th century to produce the spirited beverage of the same name, but it has also been used in making other fermented drinks, cloth, paper, and more. You can also have one of the farmers show you how the giant pineapple is chopped to the core with traditional tools. Extend your high spirits with a visit to the local distilleries where you can see and taste the magic of maguey, as agave is known in other parts.
5. Seek Wildlife on a Safari in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This might sound too adventurous for some but not if you are the courageous one to drive out in an open-air safari jeep to visit the big five in their own homeland. Pack well and then speed through the African savannah and forests as you enter the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest volcanic depression. Prepare for migrations of wildebeest and zebra, and the largest populations of gazelles and lions. Along the Serengeti National Park you can view black rhinoceros, elephants and cheetahs. If you witness a predator-prey hunt and chase, it will be the best live performance you will see on the wi(l)dest cinema screen you can imagine. You’re welcome.
Now get out there and add these to your adventure travel bucket list !
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By Ruksana Hussain on July 5, 2019
Ruksana Hussain is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. She pens general features and lifestyle articles for local and international print and online media. Read her work on www.ruksanawrites.com