The 10 most incredible adventures you can have this year.
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Exploration

We ranked the 10 most out-of-this-world adventures you can have this year

Not all travel experiences are created equal, so we went ahead and ranked the 10 most unique and jaw-droppingly adventurous things you can possibly do this year.
By RedBull.com
12 min readPublished on
Yeah look, we know it’s not January anymore. We know all of the ‘best things to do last year’ stories have been done to death already. We know and we don’t care.
Because not only is life too short and too important to spend it wishing you were out there having unreal adventures, it’s too short and too important to spend it having mediocre adventures, too. A Europe OE? Puh-lease. A spring break in Cancun? Not on our watch. Two weeks in Bali? Get out of there.
By the time you have finished this article, you will want to throw your phone in the sea and go horse riding in Mongolia. Or perhaps you’d rather get out there and find Peru’s other Lost City. Hell, maybe you’ll even want to drive a tuk-tuk around India. Who are we to say? We’re Red Bull. That’s who.

1. Find Peru’s OTHER Lost City

The trail to the lost city of Choquequirao.
The trail to the lost city of Choquequirao.
But why?
While everyone else is traipsing around Machu Picchu looking at those ruins from Instagram, you could be out there discovering a city that has never even been posted on Instagram (update: we checked, it has been posted on Instagram, but only 9,300 times compared to Machu Picchu’s 1.3 million).
Founded by the Incas in 1536, Choquequirao – home to some of the world’s best preserved Incan ruins – is said to be up to three times larger the Machu Picchu. To get there, you’ll hike through the Peruvian Andes, into cloud forest and deserts, and past snow-capped peaks. The best bit? Since only a few people hike the trail on any given day, there’s a good chance you’ll have the whole damn place to yourself. Phew.
Can I actually do this?
Sure you can. Intrepid Travel just launched an eight-day trip that takes you right to Choquequirao AND throws in a stop off at Machu Picchu for good measure. You’ll get to soak up the scenery from the Yanama Pass, too. Google it.
Is it difficult?
You’ll be hiking for 7-10 hours a day, sometimes up steep bits and at altitude, so it’s no walk in the park. A reasonable level of fitness would be a very good idea indeed.
How powerful is it?
Discovering a lost city is pretty powerful, amigos. You’re basically Indiana Jones with a worse fashion sesnse. The Choquequirao Trail gets an extremely unflappable 7/10.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Intrepid Travel for more information.

2. Drive a tuk-tuk around India

But why?
Forget going to India on some kind of spiritual mission. Go there on a mother-tukking tuk-tuk mission instead. Sure, you could go to the Taj Mahal and take a yoga class while floating down the Ganges on a raft (we checked: this isn’t a thing), or you could drive a tuk-tuk 1100 kilometres around Southern India with a big group of like-minded adventurers. Which version of your India trip is going to make for better memories? That’s a trick question.
Can I actually do this?
Absolutely. Large Minority have been running tuk-tuk adventures in Sri Lanka and Cambodia for years, and by this point have everything in place to ensure a life-changing adventure while providing enough support and assistance to ensure your safety. You’ll have medical and mechanical support, and all your accommodation will be taken care of – all you need to do is get from point A to point B every day without driving into a ditch. This is the first year of the India Challenge, which means you’ll be one of an elite group of pioneering adventurers. Don’t sleep on this.
Is it difficult?
It’s a bit different to driving to the supermarket, sure. It’ll be stressful. But there’s also a very good chance it’ll be the most rewarding trip you’ve ever taken. You’ll see and experience things other travellers can only dream of, and you’ll have the bonus feel-good factor of having driven it all yourself. It’s tough, but it’s worth it.
How powerful is it?
On its own, it’s basically 9/10 powerful. But then there’s the fact that all Large Minority trips give 10% of your entry fee back to the local community, and it becomes much more powerful. We’re talking 10/10 powerful.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Large Minority for more information.

3. Go horse riding in Mongolia

Horse riding through Mongolia is a very good thing to do.
Horse riding through Mongolia is a very good thing to do.
But why?
Did you not read that headline? Horse. Riding. In. Mongolia. On this one, you’ll be spending 10 days exploring the highest peaks of Mongolia’s Altai Mountains, and you’ll be doing it alongside some real-life eagle hunters (that is, people who hunt with eagles, not people who hunt eagles). We’ll say that again: you’ll be riding horses alongside real-life eagle hunters. You’ll slot into the local way of life, you’ll camp with nomads, and wind up at the absolutely surreal Saagsai Eagle Festival. It’s an open and shut case: this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation.
Can I actually do this?
Yes, thanks to Secret Compass, a reputable company that specialises in expeditionary trips across the world. They’ve taken travellers into some of the most remote parts of the planet since 2010, and have also been trusted to help plan and lead filming missions for the likes of the BBC, National Geographic, Sony and Xbox. So yes, you can actually do this.
Is it difficult?
It won’t be your regular ‘holiday’, that’s for sure. You’ll be expected to muck in, and a good level of self-sufficiency will be required. That said, the company state that their expeditions are achievable by anyone with a “healthy lifestyle and a good level of fitness”. You’ll need to work as part of a team, and bring a positive mindset. For this particular expedition, the company recommends a basic level of horse riding experience too.
How powerful is it?
To be honest, we thought driving a tuk-tuk around India was the most powerful thing we’ve ever seen. But now we’ve seen this. This is probably an 11/10. Extremely powerful.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Secret Compass for more information.

4. Go and find some snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan

But why?
For this one, you’ll be flung deep into the remote Tien Shan Mountains, where you’ll join an expeditionary team and survey snow leopards. This isn’t just any old jolly into the mountains – you’ll be working as part of an international team to assist with the scientific efforts, which will involve tasks such as setting up camera traps and surveying on foot and in vehicles.
Can I actually do this?
Biosphere Expeditions take regular folk like you on trips like this all the time. You need no scientific knowledge and no special qualifications, either. Just a keen interest and a can-do attitude.
Is it difficult?
Like every experience on this list, this isn’t not your average adventure. You’ll need to be able to walk 5-15 kilometres per day (at low altitudes), and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in overnight surveys if you like. If you’re not quite mobile enough for 5-15 kilometres, you can also help by monitoring wildlife closer to base camp.
How powerful is it?
Imagine telling your grandkids about the time you went looking for snow leopards in the Tien Shan Mountains? Who even are you? Walter Mitty? 10/10.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Biosphere Expeditions for more information.

5. Join a local crew and sail around remote Philippine islands

But why?
This is like Castaway, minus Tom Hanks. For this one, you’ll start in Boracay, where you’ll meet your local paraw crew. From Boracay, you’ll take to the seas, and sail to a range of islands on which you’ll be given a whole range of tasks – from catching fish for dinner to climbing coconut trees and building makeshift camps. The goal? To score points against the other teams you’ll be competing against. It’s fun, it’s manic, and it’s unlike any trip you’ve taken before.
Can I actually do this?
The Philippines Challenge is operated by Large Minority, the same cats who run the India Challenge (see above), so yes. You can definitely do this. You’ll be sailing 90 nautical miles over the course of nine days, and you’ll be thick as thieves with your local crew by the end of it. And with 10% of your entry fee going back into local communities, you’ll be able to feel good about it all too.
Is it difficult?
It’ll be hot, there’ll be a lot of problem solving and you’ll likely be put in situations you’ve never been put in before – such as sleeping in a hammock you set up yourself on an island on which you’re the only tourist – but as long as you go into it with the right attitude, you’ll have the time of your life. No sailing experience is necessary, either. But it probably helps.
How powerful is it?
A hard 10/10. No doubt about it.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Large Minority for more information.

6. Get active in Tanzania

Get active in Tanzania with a little help from G Adventures.
Get active in Tanzania with a little help from G Adventures.
But why?
Sure, lots of people have been to Tanzania. But how many people have been hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and 4X4-ing through Tanzania? Not many. This one will see you go hippo-spotting via a canoe, cycle through a national park, hike into an (extinct, lol) volcanic crater, and explore the Serengeti by 4X4. When it comes to immersive, active experiences in Tanzania, this is one of those.
Can I actually do this?
Thanks to G Adventures you can, yes. You’ll have a local guide by your side for the whole thing, and the support of a company who take hundreds of thousands of travellers around the world each year.
Is it difficult?
You’ll need a decent level of fitness and you’ll be camping most nights, but compared to the other experiences on this list, this one will be somewhat cosier, and there’ll be less onus on you to take the initiative during the days.
How powerful is it?
7/10. Powerful, but also comfortable.
Where do I sign up?
Visit G Adventures for more information.

7. Learn alpine skills in Georgia

Learn the essentials of alpine survival in Georgia with Secret Compass.
Learn the essentials of alpine survival in Georgia with Secret Compass.
But why?
This one is billed as an “ideal although challenging first taste of alpine conditions.” You’ll be learning how to use ice axes and crampons and learn the ins and outs (literally) of crevasse rescue, as well as some advice on navigation. Then, if the group is up to the task, you’ll head off to summit the Kazbek volcano, the country’s highest, and the second highest in all of the Caucasus. Georgia on your mind? Thought so.
Can I actually do this?
Yes, care of the fine folks at Secret Compass.
Is it difficult?
Well, you’ll be learning alpine skills for what will likely be the first time, so there’ll be a learning curve of sorts. The expedition is also completely self-supported, which means it’ll just be you and your expedition mates, so mucking in with the group effort is a must. You don’t need any experience of alpine conditions, but any winter trekking practice you do have will be a bonus. You’ll need to carry up to 20 kilograms for multiple days over difficult terrain. If in doubt, Secret Compass will provide an example 12-week training program to help you get to where you need to be.
How powerful is it?
We don’t even know anymore. Like a 12/10?
Where do I sign up?
Visit Secret Compass for more information.

8. Journey into Australia’s remote East Arnhem Land

Spend time with the Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land.
Spend time with the Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land.
But why?
Oh, we don’t know. Maybe because you’ll get to spend quality time with communities belonging to the oldest living culture in the world? That sounds pretty good to us. As well as learning all about the land and culture from the Yolngu people, you’ll enjoy bush camping, get to explore the stunning Arnhem Land coastline, learn basket weaving and spear-making, visit one of the most significant Indigenous art centres in Australia and much, much more besides.
Can I actually do this?
With Venture North you can, yep. The remoteness of this trip means it isn’t cheap, but – and this has been a common theme for this round-up – it really is a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal.
Is it difficult?
You’ll be spending some nights bush camping, it’ll be hot, and you’ll be spending time in a very remote part of Australia. Aside from that, you’ll be well looked after by both the Venture North crew and your Yolngu hosts.
How powerful is it?
Aboriginal culture is more than 60,000 years old in Australia, so we’re giving this a very solid 60,000+/10.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Venture North for more information.

9. Learn how to plan expeditions yourself

But why?
Because you want to get out of your comfort zone and learn how to plan epic, never-been-done before expeditions yourself. Alongside explorer Matt Prior, you’ll be taken on a top-secret adventure, during which he’ll let you in on all of the ins and outs of expedition planning. So you’ll be having an awesome adventure, while learning how to plan your very own expeditions. It’s like adventure inception, basically.
Can I actually do this?
Thanks to Matt Prior, you can. Matt is an adventurer, pilot, photographer and World Record holder. He's been to over 120 countries on numerous unsupported expeditions and ascended various famous peaks across five continents. He began the Adventure Academy in 2015 in a bid to get regular punters outside of their comfort zone and to help them plan and tackle big expeditions on their own.
Is it difficult?
The whole idea is to get you out of your comfort zone while learning a stack of adventure lessons, but Matt will be there to help you through every single step.
How powerful is it?
Well, you get to learn how to plan your own expeditions from an expert in the field. It’s an easy 10/10.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Matt Prior’s Adventure Academy for more information.

10. Camp with reindeer herders in Siberia

But why?
Read that headline again. We’ll wait.
Can I actually do this?
Again, thanks to the unbelievable folks at Secret Compass, the answer is a resounding yes. The company has been offering trips to live with the Nenets since 2015. The itinerary even affords travellers the chance to participate in the annual reindeer migration.
Is it difficult?
It’s not easy to get to. You’ve got to take a train, bus and amphibious Trekol just to reach the village of Labrovaya on the tundra. If there’s a place with a better claim to ‘End of the World’, we’d like to see it. This definitely counts as an ‘extreme environment’, and you’ll need to be able to trek short distances, help with carrying water and wood, and be able to deal with temperatures that go down to -35°c.
How powerful is it?
Honestly, it’s a 10/10 from us.
Where do I sign up?
Visit Secret Compass for more information.

BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE WINNER!

Truth be told, as incredible as all fo these experiences are, there is the winner of this power ranking.
That winner, dear reader, is YOU.
You currently have more incredible adventures to sink your teeth into that at any other time in human history. Get out there and do something.