All Articles Your summer bucket list: 7 must-do experiences for an adventure of a lifetime

Your summer bucket list: 7 must-do experiences for an adventure of a lifetime

Rear view of two hikers exploring a slot canyon filled with water in Zion National Park
Image: Jordan Siemens/Getty
Tripadvisor
By Tripadvisor15 May 2023 5 minutes read

Longer days and warmer temps are back—your sign to get out there and live it up with new adventures. Make the most of the glorious summer with these thrilling bucket list ideas. Some will have you navigating massive canyons. Others, soaring at 3,300 feet (or higher!).

Whichever you pick, you’re bound to have incredible memories for a lifetime—and trust us, you don’t want to miss out.

1. Paragliding

Interlaken, Switzerland

A paraglider flying high above mountains, lakes, and villages in Interlaken, Switzerland
Image: Frank Fleischmann/Getty

With dramatic peaks, lush forestry, and endless blue skies, Switzerland offers extraordinary vistas everywhere you look. For unbeatable views, don’t miss the tandem paragliding experience in Interlaken. In the safe hands of a professional pilot, you’ll take off in Beatenberg and fly high above the Swiss Alps back to Interlaken. If you feel a little more daring, ask your pilot to add some twists and spins before landing.

Prefer a gentler flight? Sign up for this summer paragliding experience that cruises over Lake Thun and the Jungfrau mountains.

Tenerife, Spain

Wide angle shot of tandem paragliders flying over Tenerife
Image: Sightsee06034382060/Tripadvisor

Fabulous views of the island, the sea breeze in your face, the rush from landing on a beach—that’s paragliding at Tenerife. If you’re vacationing in Costa Adeje, this tandem paragliding experience is a summer must-do. Depending on weather conditions, you could reach heights of almost 3,300 feet—high enough to soar through clouds.

Adventure seekers can go for this acrobatic paragliding flight. Expect a roller coaster ride with twists, turns, and spins in the air.

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2. Zip lining

Hawaii, United States

A young girl preparing to zipline upside-down in Kauai, Hawaii
Two travelers racing each other on side-by-side ziplines above Keana Farms
Image: (from left to right) Kristie E/Tripadvisor, Camper00999871014/Tripadvisor

If you’re heading to Hawaii this summer, add zip lining to your bucket list. There are tons of places to try it, from Maui to KoleKole Falls on the main island.

On this zip line experience in Kauai, you’ll get to ride one of the island’s longest zip lines that’s almost half a mile long. For the ultimate rush, try different ways of flying—spin around, go hands-free, or fly upside-down.

Thrill-seekers who fancy some friendly competition will enjoy this zipline tour on Oahu’s North Shore. There are eight dual lines—perfect for racing your fam or friends. The zipline is located on Keana Farms, so you’ll have the chance to taste macadamia nuts during your breaks.

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3. Bungee jumping

Cairns, Australia

A lady smiling while bungee jumping in Cairns, Australia
Image: Management/Tripadvisor

Fun fact: there’s only one place where you can bungee jump in Australia, and it’s in Cairns. Tucked away in a tropical rainforest, this bucket list bungee jump experience will have you standing on a platform about 164 feet above a lagoon. You can choose to touch the water or stay dry.

Admire the views as the staff counts you down…and take the exhilarating plunge. At the end of it all, you’ll walk away with a free shirt, a certificate, and epic memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Nature’s Valley, South Africa

Wide shot of the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa
A man bungee jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge
The Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, and the leap.
Image: (from left to right) Jon11/Getty, John Doe/Tripadvisor

If 164 feet sounds too easy, how does 709 feet sound? Located close to Nature’s Valley in South Africa, the iconic Bloukrans Bridge is the tallest in Africa. Here, you’ll find Bloukrans Bungy—also known as one of the world’s highest bridge jumps. Get triple the thrills with a SkyWalk that offers panoramic views of the majestic wilderness, a zip line to the jumping pod, and of course, the leap itself.

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4. Whitewater rafting

Clearwater, Canada

A group of travelers whitewater rafting in Wells Gray Park, Canada
Image: Noel Hendrickson/Getty

It’s no secret that Canada is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes around. You can hike to enjoy the views or try something more heart-racing. Get up close to the wilderness with a rafting adventure on Clearwater River. This Travelers’ Choice award-winning experience in Wells Gray Park includes river rafting on class four rapids, body surfing, and cliff jumping.

For a gentler ride, book this whitewater rafting tour. You’ll tackle class three rapids on Clearwater River, and be rewarded with calm, scenic sections.

Bali, Indonesia

A group of travelers whitewater rafting in Bali
Rear view of travelers on ATVs driving through a jungle in Bali
Image: (from left to right) Wanderer47990104743/Tripadvisor, Whitney N/Tripadvisor

There’s more to Bali than sandy beaches and award-winning resorts. Enjoy a dose of action with this full-day ATV ride and whitewater rafting adventure. Start by paddling down the Ayung River. Then dry off with a quick lunch break, before roaring through jungles and rice paddies on a powerful ATV.

Best part? Now’s a great time to go (dry season is on till September). Just remember these traveler tips: wear water shoes, bring socks, and stuff your phone in a waterproof carrier. You are going to get wet and muddy, after all.

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5. Kayaking

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Four female travelers kayaking at night on the Condado Lagoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image: Management/Tripadvisor

Teeming with lush mangroves and wildlife, the Condado Lagoon in San Juan is the perfect spot for nature lovers. Join a glass-bottom kayaking tour to say hello to the resident manatees and starfish. Or try something cooler: explore after dark.

Travelers say this night kayaking excursion is a must-do when in Puerto Rico. Slather some glow paint on yourself, hop into a kayak with LED lights, and light up the night. The star of the show, though, is the dazzling city lights. Enjoy the view as you paddle across tranquil waters.

Psst…don’t miss this Bio Bay kayak tour in Fajardo too. You’ll explore Laguna Grande—one of three places where you can see bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico.

Lagos, Portugal

First-person view of travelers kayaking inside a sea cave near Lagos, Portugal
Image: Saalk/Tripadvisor

If you love the sea, you’ll love this kayak tour in Lagos. It’s one of the best ways to see Ponta da Piedade—a famous cluster of rock formations near Lagos in the Algarve. Sure, you can take a boat, but kayaking lets you get closer to the golden caves and cliffs. The experience also includes a visit to a remote beach, where you can swim, snorkel, or just chill out.

Travelers recommend signing up for the morning tour to escape the crowds and midday heat.

Las Vegas, United States

First-person view of a kayak on the green waters of the Emerald Cave near Las Vegas
Image: Mrs P/Tripadvisor

Here’s another idea for your summer bucket list: a half-day Emerald Cave kayak tour. Far from the Las Vegas bustle, this excursion promises fresh air, relaxing vibes, and unforgettable sights.

You’ll paddle along the Colorado River to reach the cave. True to its name, the waters turn emerald green—thanks to the sun’s rays. The tour also includes a short hike and a couple of stops to swim and see wildlife like bald eagles or bighorn sheep.

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6. Canyoning (or canyoneering)

Utah, United States

A traveler slowly climbing up a canyon in Zion National Park, Utah
Image: Liliya K/Tripadvisor

Zion National Park in Utah is full of natural wonders and bucket list adventures. And this canyoneering and UTV tour is a fantastic way to experience the best of both. Departing from Orderville, the tour includes driving an off-road UTV, climbing over boulders, and exploring Zion’s world-famous slot canyons.

For a more hair-raising experience, try this canyoneering tour which includes rappelling. Heights can go up to 70 feet but don’t worry—you’re in safe hands.

Marbella, Spain

Rear view of a person leaping into a lagoon in Guadalmina Canyon, Marbella, Spain
Image: Tom R/Tripadvisor

Visiting Marbella in Spain? This canyoning tour in Guadalmina Canyon—just 20 minutes away from the coastal city—is a must-do. Think rappelling down waterfalls, going down a natural water slide, and the optional cliff jumping.

The tour is available all year round, but summer is the best time to check this off your bucket list. Water temps are warmer, making it more pleasant to swim in.

More canyoning experiences

7. Submarine tours

Aruba, Caribbean

Wide shot of the Aruba Atlantis Submarine out at sea
Rear shot of a captain looking at a shipwreck through a submarine window
Images (from left to right): Tiffany75/Tripadvisor, Lucas/Tripadvisor

Ever wanted to explore the ocean without getting wet? Here’s your shortcut to Aruba’s underwater world: an Atlantis submarine expedition. Just climb in and descend 130 feet below the surface. You’ll see wonders like shipwrecks and marine life, from corals to fish and eels. Little ones can join the adventure, too—a great way to introduce them to the Caribbean Sea.

For a hybrid experience, try this semi-submarine expedition. Soak up the views of the Arashi Reef, then head to the upper deck for some fresh air and warm sunshine. If you’re keen to see more shipwrecks and shoals of tropical fish, check out this submarine day tour in Barbados.

Crete, Greece

A female traveler and three kids in a submarine looking at the seabed of Mirabello Bay in Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Image: Basilkara/Tripadvisor

Dip into the Mediterranean with this semi-submarine tour in Agios Nikolaos—a coastal city on the eastern side of Crete. Meet the many fish that live in the pristine Mirabello Bay, and hear stories of its fascinating underwater landscape.

On the way back, sit on the upper deck and savor views of the sunny coast. The tour ends at the harbor, where you’ll find many great restaurants.

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