Most people’s first priorities when travelling for tourism are to find places where they can go shopping, sightseeing or simply relax. For the adventurers, however, who are looking for the most exotic, dangerous and exclusive destinations where they can fell an “adrenaline rush”, there’s an entire category of vacation dedicated to it: The so-called “extreme tourism”. South America is filled with some of the most unique extreme outdoor adventure destinations in the world, see below some places you can go if you are brave enough:
Sandboarding in the Atacama Desert
In the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama there’s the “Death Valley” of South America, between giant sand dunes in one of the driest places in the world. With repurposed snowboards and ATVs, you’ll be able to sandboard down 300 ft tall dunes in this never-ending sand desert. In fact, if you go further north, crossing the Peruvian border, you can find the highest sand dunes in the world and the only natural occurring oasis in South America. This is certainly a must do travel for any extreme adventurer in South America.
Mountain Biking in the Death Road of Bolivia
Before the construction of a newer road between La Paz and Coroico in 2006, the North Yungas Road, also known as the “Death Road” of Bolivia, was one of the most dangerous routes in the world, taking about 300 people lives per year due to accidents.
Can you imagine cycling in it? Well, this is now possible as traffic has reduced considerably after newer roads were built and adventure bike tour companies have established there. Having some of the most impressive views in any road in the world with a beautiful forest rich in vegetation and waterfalls, be also prepared to ride 40 miles downhill across steep cliffs, sharp turns and 2000 feet drops just to your side.
Hang gliding over Rio de Janeiro
Can you imagine flying around the Christ the Redeemer and the Sugarloaf Mountains and landing in the magnificent beaches of Rio de Janeiro? Well, this is pretty common and easy to do in Rio.
The entire experience can last to about 2 hours, from the pickup at the hotel, the hike or drive up the mountain, waiting in queue and the actual gliding, that can take about 10 minutes. You fly with an instructor that also takes multiple high-quality pictures throughout the flight. Remember that sometimes the jump can be delayed or postponed due to wind speeds or the weather.
Skydiving in Iguazu Falls
Located across the Brazilian and Argentinian border, the Iguazu Falls are the largest waterfall in the planet at 1.7 miles wide and 270 feet high, having an impressive mean annual flow rate of over 60,000 cubic feet of water per second, or enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools per minute! You probably now have an idea of how big Iguazu is. Can you imagine doing a parachute jump over it?
In this experience you will be able to skydive from a plane at almost 10,000 ft and see from above the entire Iguazu park, the city of Foz do Iguacu and the Itaipu Hydroelectric Powerplant, the second largest in the world. The jump lasts about 5 minutes, with 30 seconds of free fall.