Photo credit: Ian Cumming/Axiom/Cavan Images (book cover added for illustration)

‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’: Adventure Travel Bucket List

The original bucket-list travel book gets a fresh new look. Tons more images, new places, and new adventures refresh ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ for 2019.

With 3.5 million copies sold in the 16 years since it first hit bookshelves, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” stands as the best-selling travel book ever.

And last month, Artisan Books released an all-new spin on author Patricia Schultz’s famous work. Still carrying the same title, this compendium of sights and activities from around the globe offers up a photo-heavy list of travel inspiration.

1000 Places to See Before You Die

We compiled six adventure-focused passages from Schultz’s book. Hopefully, it gives you some ideas for how to spend your vacation time. And for more ideas, find the new “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” on Amazon now.


All text and images excerpted with permission from “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz (Artisan Books).


6 Adventure Travel Places to See Before You Die

Aqaba and Wadi Rum / Jordan: Red Sea Diving and Desert Canyons

Aqaba Wadi Rum / 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Photo credit: PatitucciPhoto/Cavan Images

The waters off Aqaba boast some of the Red Sea’s most pristine dive sites. But this ancient port city is also known as the gateway to nearby Wadi Rum (left), a majestic desert moonscape where parts of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia were filmed.

Must Do

  • Snorkel or dive along Aqaba’s 15 miles of shoreline to see fields of technicolor coral.
  • Camp in Wadi Rum with a local outfitter to enjoy the light and color at dawn and dusk and the stars at night.

Sipadan / Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia: Epic Diving in the Celebes Sea

Sipadan 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Photo credit: Scubazoo/Alamy Stock Photo

Part of the Semporna Archipelago off the coast of Borneo, tiny Sipadan sits atop a submerged volcano in a protected conservation zone. With a cap of 120 visitors a day, no overnight accommodations, and 12 dive locations, this speck in the Celebes Sea appears on every diver’s dream list.

Must Do

  • Keep an eye out for green turtles and hawksbill turtles, various species of shark, barracuda, and manta rays.
  • Book overnight accommodations on the islands of Mabul and Kapalai for great shore and boat diving on Sipadan, minutes away by speedboat.
  • Make the short sail to the Kapalai sandbar, for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring the islands of Mataking and Sibuan.

Lake Malawi / Malawi: God’s Aquarium

Lake Malawi 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Photo credit: Ian Cumming/Axiom/Cavan Images

Lake Malawi is 365 miles long and 52 miles wide, making it the third-largest lake in Africa, and the second deepest (at 2,300 feet). The clear, warm water teems with more species of tropical fish than any other lake on earth, including more than 800 species of neon-colored cichlids.

Must Visit

  • Blissfully remote Likoma Island, on the eastern shore, home to some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, who are ready to teach you to snorkel and sail.
  • Likoma Island’s 1903 Anglican church, which rivals Winchester Cathedral in size.

High-Country Hiking / Bernese Oberland, Switzerland: Walking on Top of the World

Bernese Oberland 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Photo credit: PatitucciPhoto/Cavan Images

With its 1,553 miles of trails, the Bernese Oberland is Switzerland’s most popular choice for hiking, thanks to its idyllic scenery that rejuvenates both body and soul. The ravines of Kandersteg are a rambler’s paradise. Head for the cable car that lifts walkers to the historic Gemmi Pass or to Lake Oeschinen (left), one of Switzerland’s most striking natural wonders.

Must Do

  • Take the railway or cable car to Mürren, the highest year-round inhabited village in the canton.
  • Ride Mürren’s cable car to the Schilthorn’s 9,742 foot summit, Piz Gloria, for panoramic views from the revolving restaurant made famous by the James Bond thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
  • Take a high-country hike from Birg down to quaint Gimmelwald.
  • Ride the rails to Jungfraujoch to visit the Eispalast (Ice Palace), then return via Grindelwald for high-terrain hiking.

The Blue Voyage / Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey: Sailing the Turquoise Coast

The Blue Voyage 1000 Places to See Before you Die
Photo credit: Ayhan Altun/Moment/Getty Images

Whether chartered by a group or individually rented by the cabin, a wooden gulet, a traditional two-masted diesel-propelled boat, is the perfect way to explore the coast from Bodrum to Antalya (left). The waters are a luminous blue that gave rise to the phrase mavi yolculuk, or “blue voyage.” The boats take in Greco-Roman and Lycian ruins, sun-drenched beaches, and an uninhabited island reportedly given to Cleopatra by Mark Antony.

Must Do

  • Most cruises cast off from Göcek, Fethiye, or Bodrum, a whitewashed seaside resort whose harbor is dominated by St. Peter’s Castle, one of the finest examples of Crusader architecture in Turkey.
  • Tour the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in St. Peter’s Castle, to view historic wrecks and treasures.
  • Take a 1-day sail from Bodrum to Gökova Körfezi for lunch in a secluded cove.

The Drakensberg Mountains / KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa: A Journey to Middle Earth

Drakensberg Mountains 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Photo credit: Albie Venter/Shutterstock

Believed to have inspired the setting for the Lord of the Rings cycle, written by South African–born J. R. R. Tolkien, the Drakensberg Mountains offer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, bird-watching, golfing, fishing, and exploring countless sites where ancient rock art dates back 3,000 years.

Must Visit

  • The Blyde River Canyon (below), a 15-mile-long gorge, the third largest in the world by some measures.
  • Fugitives’ Drift, a national heritage site, to learn about the region’s conflict-filled history on a guided tour.
  • God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon’s lookout point.
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Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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