Extreme Sports Destinations

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Have you made plans for summer vacation yet? I've got some ideas for an adventure you'll remember for the rest of your life! Or maybe you can just enjoy them on the net. Warning: for some of these, you must be well-trained. For others, you'll have to at least be in good shape.

Hang Gliding -Rio de Janeiro

Hang glide Rio de Janeiro! The combination of mountains, ocean, and city make for an awesome experience! See some pictures here.

Biking -China
A 15 day bike tour starting at Guilin, Guangxi will take you to altitudes of 2,000 feet and through many scenic and historical rural villages. This tour is rated one of National Geographic's best picks.

The vacations only get wilder, after the jump.

Cliff Diving -Brontallo, Switzerland

In Brontallo, Ticino in Switzerland, A 26 meter dive gives you time to show off your best moves. Or you could just watch! The Cliff Diving World Tour takes place there every July. See pictures here.

Scuba Diving -Andrea Doria
419-doria_2.jpgFor the best scuba diving vacation, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, almost 2,000 kilometers long, off the coast of Queensland in Australia. But for the most challenging dive, the wreck of the Andrea Doria off Cape Cod has been referred to as the Mount Everest of diving. At 240 feet deep, it is well below the recommended limit for scuba divers. 14 people have died attempting such a dive. Divers have retreived all kinds of treasures from the ship. The ship sank in 1956, and recent reports are that the hull is collapsing and the wreck is not as fascinating as it was in the past.

Surfing -Cortes Bank

Catch the big ones 100 miles out of San Diego at Cortes Bank. Here, a 17-mile underwater mountain range comes to a head 30 feet below the surface at a spot called Bishop Rock. The waves there are so big they show up on radar. Waves can range up to 60-70 feet when conditions are right. This surfing trip isn't easy. You have to get there by helicopter or boat, and the waves move so fast, surfers must be towed into position with jet skis. Cortes Bank was featured in the movie Step Into Liquid.

BASE Jumping -Norway


Not only is BASE jumping still legal in Norway, it also has the best landscape for it.

Snowboarding -Nepal
435_snowboarding.jpgSnowboarding in Nepal is for only the hardiest adventurers, but the thrills are huge. The first ever snowboard descent from Mount Everest was in 2001, and the industry has grown ever since. Snowboarding in Antarctica is pretty awesome, too! Find more destinations at the World Snowboard Guide.

Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking -Zambezi River

The Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe offers not only a variety of river conditions, but African wildlife and amazing scenery, including Victoria Falls.

Rock Climbing -Joshua Tree
435_rockclimb.jpgJoshua Tree National Park in California is very popular with rock climbers. Even with 4,500 established routes, crowding can cause problems during high vacation periods. See a ton of photos at Joshua Tree Climb.

Gator Wrestling -Mosca, Colorado
435_gator.jpgThe premiere -or possibly only- alligator wrestling academy is in Mosca, Colorado. Colorado Gators will begin classes for 2007 Memorial Day Weekend. Yes, you have to wrestle different sized alligators to advance to the next levels. You might even qualify for the Alligator Rodeo!

This was a thrill to put together. Now I'm exhausted. Maybe I can find a nice, relaxing isle of tranquility to read about 'til I recover.

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May 17, 2007 - 12:27am
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