Travel writer, TV host, and author Robin Esrock spent a decade visiting more than 100 countries on all seven continents. His book, ‘The Great Global Bucket List‘ (Harper Collins) is a journey to some of the wildest places on the planet.
For GearJunkie, Esrock selected 10 top spots from his travels. Check out these remarkable adventures from Arctic treks to sea kayaking in the Philippines. Put a few on your bucket list and get traveling!
Canada: Arctic Tundra Hike
The experience of hiking across the tundra under a midnight sun is timeless. In Canada’s Nunavut, spend a week at the world’s most northerly eco-lodge, or take an expedition ship into the mythical Northwest Passage, hiking into fields of Arctic cotton.
China: Cliff Slide
There are five holy mountains in China, but only Mount Hua offers the infamous cliffside plank path. Located outside of Xi’an, the mountain is served by a gondola, and offers trails, pagodas and tranquil teahouses. Braver visitors pay a little extra to scale down an iron ladder onto a path of 2x4s connected to a 3000ft-high rock face.
South Africa: Crocodile Cage Swim
In Outshoorn, get up close and more personal than you’d ever want to be with this deadly predator. Lowered into a pool like the victim of a James Bond villain, three massive Nile crocs encircle your cage, eager to pry it open. Dip underwater to get an unusually close look at the soft belly of the beast.
Oludeniz is known as one of the world’s best paragliding destinations for good reason. Conditions are ideal for much of the year, the launch is almost 6000ft above the sparkling Mediterranean, and stellar views put the wind under your chute.
Australia: Climb A Very Big Tree
For those who always enjoyed climbing trees, consider hauling yourself up a 250ft karri hardwood in Western Australia. Thin metal rods spiral up this fire lookout tree in Warren National Park, leading to a viewing platform. Up or down, your knees will be as wobbly as a Central African government.
Philippines Sea Kayak El Nido
Hundreds of limestone islands form a dazzling archipelago on the northern tip of Palawan. Serviced by excellent hotels, the warm turquoise waters offer some of the world’s best diving, and exceptional sea kayaking. Gear up and paddle to your own deserted paradise.
Peru: Conquer The Inca Trail
There’s no shortage of ancient wonders on the Global Bucket List. This one receives bonus points for the three-day hike into the Andes, conquering altitude sickness, and arriving at these mysterious ruins at sunrise. You’ll have them all to yourself for a couple hours, before the tour buses attack.
Antarctica: Camp On The Ice
Nothing quite prepares you for the scale, isolation and staggering beauty of the icy continent. Cruising the Antarctic Peninsula on an expedition ship delivers abundant wildlife, icebergs, adventure, and the bucket list opportunity of camping in a frozen world.
Bolivia: Mountain Bike On Death Road
Before a new highway was built, the road from La Paz to Coroico once held the distinction of being the world’s most dangerous road. Trucks and buses would regularly plummet into canyons below while navigating hairpin bends. Today it’s a 40-mile mostly downhill thrill ride for mountain bikers. Check the brakes of your rental bike, and easy around the corners.
Cook Islands: Spelunk In Burial Caves
The book takes spelunkers to New Zealand, Hungary and Belize. On the tiny island of Atiu, you can slip into a series of tight chambers to meet hundreds of skeletons, the victims of a tribal slaughter at some point in the island’s history. Any brush with mortality is a stark reminder that it’s never to late too tick off your bucket list.
Pick up a copy of The Great Global Bucket List for journeys to more than 100 countries.