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The world's greatest bucket list adventures

Written by
Alex Carey, Rachel O'Leary, Byron Thomas, Jennifer Richt & Jane Dumble

The world is full of opportunities for adventure. Whether it's climbing the highest mountain in Africa or adapting to tribal life deep in the Amazon, the world is waiting to be explored.

If you're looking to experience some of the most exciting things our planet has to offer, dip into this list of our experts' greatest bucket list adventures.

The climb of your life
Mt Kilimanjaro
Desert exploration
The Atacama Desert
Authentic cultural immersion
Ecuador

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is the ultimate African climbing adventure, and an eight day hike up the world’s tallest free-standing mountain is perfectly followed by an exhilarating safari through Tanzania‘s Northern Serengeti. Tanzania is the perfect country for adrenaline junkies who are in search of a both mind-blowing surroundings and wild animal sightings.

 

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Professional guides, quality equipment, custom-made sleeping and dining tents, thorough training and plenty of time for acclimatisation will help make this daunting trek an achievable goal, whilst the breathtaking sights of sweeping Savannah and lush forest that will meet you as you ascend are more than worth the effort.

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Sleep under the stars in the Atacama Desert, Chile

As close as you’ll ever come to exploring life on Mars (unless you’re lucky enough to actually hitch an interstellar flight), the Chile‘s Atacama Desert is one of the world’s most otherworldly landscapes and makes for some truly incredible trekking. This twelve-night itinerary takes you on a spectacular adventure through the remote and hidden wonders of rural Chile.

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Beginning in the Atacama Desert, you’ll spend four nights under an impossibly starry night sky and your days out exploring red sands, spitting geysers and high altitude plains on horse rides, hikes and cycling excursions. The Atacama is a truly ethereal landscape and after spending so much time here, you’ll feel as though you’re in another world entirely.

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Go gorilla tracking & meet the Maasai Mara, Rwanda & Kenya

A thoroughly inspired and breath-taking three week voyage through this captivating continent, our Faces of Africa itinerary showcases Africa’s best natural wonders, locations and experiences. Track majestic gorillas through the mystical Bwindi Forest, and witness the infamous river crossings of the Migration in the Masaai Mara, before listening to the thundering rush of Victoria Falls.

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Delight in exclusive encounters with Botswana’s beautiful wildlife on safari in the heart of the Okavango, watch the rippling ‘sand sea’ of the remote Namib desert, enjoy the vibrant life of Cape Town and then end with a luxury train journey through the stunning scenery of South Africa.

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Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru

As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it’s no surprise that Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s main tourist draws. This lost Incan city sits on a mountain ridge north west of Cusco, 2,400 metres above sea level. Many tales are told around the world about this ancient Incan wonder, but Machu Picchu is a sight that really needs to be seen in order to be believed. Our expert local guides help to bring the ancient city to life, detailing the history, significance and myths surrounding it.

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The original way to see Machu Picchu, the infamous Inca Trail is great for adventurers. During the four-day walk, Jacada travellers are accompanied by expert guides who will bring the landscape to life with their stories, detailing the legends behind the famous trail, as well as the ancient beliefs of the indigenous Quechuan community. On the trek, walkers will pass archaeological sites, dramatic mountain vistas and dense cloud forests, before arriving at Machu Picchu to watch an ethereal sunrise.

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Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the main draw for travellers in this picturesque corner of Australia. This awe-inspiring reef is the largest coral reef in the world, home to over 3,000 individual reef systems and an incredible wealth of biodiversity. It’s a paradise for animal lovers; 30 species of cetaceans, more than 1500 types of fish and the graceful dugong all call this place home.

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Truly a bucket list adventure, the Great Barrier Reef is best seen sooner rather than later. The threat to the Great Barrier Reef is so large that climate change is predicted to wreck irreversible damage on the reef by 2030 unless things change. There is hope though, with charities discovering new ways of restoring reefs and working to protect endangered species. Tourism has become far better managed too, so the reef is less prone to the damaging effects of over tourism. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible places in the world and nothing quite compares to seeing it up close. As the largest living structure on the planet, it’s even visible from space.

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Trek the Great Wall of China

China is vast, both in terms of its size and its offerings. Its history goes back thousands of years, yet it is one of the world’s most rapidly developing countries. This is a place where you’ll find ancient royal residences sat next to glitzy modern skyscrapers and where suited businessmen and women stride past stalls selling traditional steamed dumplings. In some parts of the country, life goes on in much the same way it has for centuries, while others cities are being built from the ground up to accommodate the explosive population growth. One perennial feature of China that’s been part of the country for centuries is, of course, the Great Wall of China.

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Stretching for more than 20,000km, it was the world’s largest military structure and built to defend against invasions from the north. Although hugely popular, we can arrange for you to visit virtually empty sections of the wall so you can marvel at this iconic structure in peace.

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Visit the Taj Mahal, India

Of course, visiting the Taj Mahal is a must-do while you’re in India. Sitting on the banks of the holy Yamuna River within 42 acres of beautiful gardens, the domed mausoleum is surrounded by minarets on all four sides. The story behind the Taj Mahal’s construction is epic. Heartbroken after the death of his favourite wife, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan set about building the world’s most beautiful monument in her honour. Astoundingly, it took a workforce of over 20,000 men 22 years to build, and their hard work is reflected today in the impossibly beautiful structure. As the world’s greatest symbol of love, this icon of India is truly awe-inspiring. 

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The most magical times to see this iconic structure are sunrise and sunset. As the light changes, the Taj Mahal’s colour changes too, and during these hours, it is bathed in an ethereal golden glow. At sunset, the light plays on the mausoleum’s marble and its reflection shimmers in the surrounding water. As the sun rises and basks the Taj Mahal in morning light, the marble changes from a soft golden glow to a dazzling white. There are fewer crowds at sunrise and sunset, so visiting at these times allows for a much more intimate experience. 

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Feeling inspired? Our expert travel designers are always on hand to help you plan your next bucket list adventure.

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