Image credit: Matthew Williams Ellis / Mashpi Lodge
Some destinations in the world really make travellers answer the call of adventure. With plenty of natural playgrounds to choose from, the incurably inquisitive will be treated to good doses of adrenaline and excitement without having to worry too much about their stamina.
To make the best of your next escapade, Quotient has scoured the world for experiences that will literally make you see things from a different perspective. Here are five to consider!
Pedal through the Andean Cloud Forest in Ecuador
Ecuador’s Andean Cloud Forest is arguably one of the most luxuriant destinations you will ever step foot on. In the dramatic setting of the montane and cloud forests of Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, located two and a half hours from Quito, an abundance of imposing trees and plant species including ferns, bromeliads and orchids make their home while a slew of trails will take you to many rivers, rivulets and waterfalls scattered around the area. This is also a birdwatchers’ paradise as there are around 500 species of birds flitting through the canopy; wildlife lovers can also spot plenty amphibians including glass frogs as well as monkeys, peccaries and even the elusive puma. But while the forest floor is enticing with its close encounters with flora and fauna, a highlight here is the two-kilometre long, human-powered sky-bike offered by the stunning Mashpi Lodge, which guests can hop on to see the canopy of the rainforest from a different perspective.
Bounce on an underground trampoline in Wales
Wales always has the crowd-pulling effect on travellers looking for unspoilt countryside, stunning wild beaches and surreal-looking mountains. The scenery is definitely the best thing about this country but when it comes to real adventure, few places rival this beautiful corner in the UK. To fuel your intrepid spirit, head to the historic mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in the north-western part of the country, and discover the world’s first subterranean trampoline. Twice the size of a cathedral, the impressive cave is dotted with huge nets hanging in the old slate cavern at varying level. If you’re afraid of vertigo, fret not; the nets are linked together by tunnels and slides, allowing you to bounce and jump inside the safety-netted walls while admiring the cavern’s rocks below. As a bonus, the nets are covered in bright-coloured LED lights, which make them glow beautifully in the dim setting.
Descend via Switzerland’s longest summer toboggan run
Switzerland’s Mount Pilatus, located outside Lucerne, has always been praised for its rugged beauty, pastoral scenery and infinite slew of thrilling activities. It’s true that winter can easily steal the limelight with daring high-speed rides over the snow, but summer also has its advantages. With dramatic craggy peaks all around, the ascent to the mountain top is thrilling in itself. From May onward, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway makes it way to the top of Pilatus, giving you a relaxing introduction to this area’s natural beauty. Once you arrive, be prepared to tackle the country’s longest summer toboggan run — a twisting, stainless steel track that promises a good dose of adrenaline-packed fun for the whole family.
Take a microlight flight over Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe
The UNESCO World Heritage Victoria Falls, located on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a wonder of nature from any angle but the expansive body of water is even more impressive from the air. The allure lies in the sweeping vistas, the uncanny mist that rises above the basaltic rim of the waterfall just like fire, and the enormous quantity of water rumbling down the rugged panels wherever you look — no wonder its other name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “The Smoke which Thunders”. On top of its beauty, Victoria Falls has also become a place renowned for adrenaline-crazed activities. There are 15- to 30-minute-long microlight flights in a sort of hang glider over the falls, which will give you the opportunity to experience a bit of everything from above: the mist, the water, the famous rainbows, the scenery and even wildlife.
Zipline at Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort
The idea of royal India seems charming to the present day. In Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City due to its blue-washed houses that surround the majestic 500-year-old Mehrangarh Fort, the ambience is truly unique. Not only is the fort one of the largest in India, looming large over the town, but it is also filled with rich history and myths to satiate the interest of any inquisitive traveller. Walking up the cobblestone paths here to admire the landmark carved in red sandstone is a delight in itself, but apart from the eye-level views of the monument, there is something more thrilling happening here. To enjoy some truly breathtaking vistas of the ember-hued fort, glide down a series of ultra-strong steel ziplines, which will take you over the outer battlements of Rajasthan’s most majestic fortress as well as allow you to admire two desert lakes and have an unforgettable view of the Blue City overall.