Best Bucket List Adventures Around The World For Women
Sitting at your desk, loading laundry or enduring the commute or school run, almost everyone dreams of leaving humdrum life behind and having a big adventure. YOLO you know, so make NOW the time you finally tick some stuff off that loooong bucket list.
Whether you have crazy bucket list ideas or you think your ambitions seem tame, the point is that identifying then achieving a bucket list trip or activity should make you feel excited, empowered and fulfilled whether that means cutting all your hair off (tick), getting a tattoo in Vegas, hiking to Machu Picchu (on my list) or dog sledding to find polar bears in frozen climes.
You might have some crazy bucket list ideas of your own, but how about checking out some of the bucket list adventures below? Aim to do things you’ll be talking about for the rest of your life. You might want to go for a solo adventure or self drive with friends, but if you fancy having a trip with so many bucket list experiences included you can’t pick a high point, all the details sorted and the chance to maybe make some new friends thrown in, consider booking onto an Explorer Chicks tour with destinations all over the world to choose from.
Try Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Vibe: Outdoors, Cultural, Suitable for adults and older teens (15+)
Location: Many Ugandan gorilla treks take part in the fabulously named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Click the link to find the location of this national park on Google Maps.
What to do here: See wildlife in its natural habitat, and explore and support local cultures.
Gorillas are a rare and critically endangered species, but thanks to ecotourism, gorilla numbers are now increasing, mostly due to all year round ecotourism.
Trek along trails slashed by your machete-wielding guides as you journey deep into the forest to observe gorillas’ family life. Dora the Explorer, eat your heart out. Silverback gorillas can be dangerous; ignore your guide’s advice at your own risk!
In Uganda, you can cram several bucket list adventures into one trip. The Explorer Chicks Uganda Gorilla Trekking trip includes opportunities to track lions, leopards, and hyenas and cruise the Kazinga River which is positively teeming with hippos, buffalo, and more. Don’t forget your binoculars and a camera to capture wildlife, landscapes, and sunsets which will break the internet.
Go Hut-to-Hut Hiking in Slovenia
Vibe: History, Outdoors, Art, and Culture
Location: Slovenia nestles between Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary and is on the bucket list of hikers who want to enjoy a trip with spectacular views, historic castles and cities, glacial lakes, and maybe just a glass or two of locally produced wine.
What to do here: Attention all history buffs, walkers, mountaineers, foodies, wildlife lovers, and photographers. Slovenia has everything you might want in a trip whether you want to lounge around eating and drinking local produce or tick off your most crazy bucket list ideas.
Slovenia has landscapes that would not look out of place in a Disney movie with more than 500 castles, many of them medieval and spectacular enough to make Harry Potter hang his head. The country’s capital, the ancient city of Ljubljana (pronounced loo·bee·aa·nuh) was established even before the Romans had strapped their invading sandals on and a stroll along ancient pathways and along the riverbanks at your own pace will give you a taste of times gone by. Load up “lute music” on Spotify and enjoy.
Bathe in the glacial Lake Bled which is fed by hot springs, and days hiking, sipping wine and eating fruit grown in the Slovenian sunshine, and trekking for days filled with one jaw-dropping view after another. You might even see alpine marmots which became almost extinct at the end of the Ice Age but were reintroduced in the 20th century.
Hike hut to hut with mountain huts. Expect to take part in a grown up sleepover with shared rooms in huts which may or may not have running water. This high altitude experience with a bird’s eye view of a host of natural wonders may well be the highlight of your trip.
If you choose the Hut to Hut Hiking in Slovenia trip you can pack a whole load of bucket list adventures into one trip. Trek the seven Triglav Lakes, explore Lakes Bohinj and Bled, bike, wine and dine in stunning Soča Valley.
Go Hiking in Croatia
Vibe: History, Art and Culture, Museums, Outdoors
Location: Find Croatia at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe with a coastline along the Adriatic sea.
What to do here: Enjoy a multitude of wet and wild activities in Croatia ranging from sea kayaking, snorkeling and boat trips to splashing about in gorgeous natural lakes and waterfalls.
This region has quite a long war-torn history and you can marvel at the architectural and cultural influences invaders from across the world have added to the local’s own vibe.
Swim with shoals of fish or be brave and try cliff jumping – that will get your heart pumping! Go rock climbing and hiking in national parks where you get the type of vistas which make your Alexa screensavers look positively mid.
During the EC Croatia hiking trip you can merge a city break with a multisports holiday so you can be ticking off many bucket list adventures in one Balkan hit. Gape at Gothic cathedrals, taste local truffles and try to decide which is your fave olive oil and how much you can carry back to your charming B&B in the medieval fortified hilltop village of Motovun.
See what Instagram is raving about when you hike to the Plitvice Lakes and waterfalls and become the latest pilgrims to Croatia’s climbing mecca, Paklenica National Park, where you can spy the sparkling Adriatic sea from atop a mountain.
Trek the Cordillera Huayhuash Trail in Peru
Vibe: History, Art & Culture, Outdoors
Location: Pronounced “way-wash” from the Quechua word for either weasel or squirrel you can find Huayhuash in the Andes of Peru where people have lived for thousands of years.
What to do here: Hiking the famous trail is the main objective for most visitors but take time to get to know the locals you pass on the route, admire fauna and flora and relax those aching muscles in the hot springs. Build in a few days to discover what the country’s capital city, Lima has to offer.
The Cordillera Huayhuash trek is widely considered one of the best Alpine treks in the world. It’s a physically demanding challenge but if high altitude hiking or mountain climbing is on your bucket list, you should definitely join the brave few who finally reach the top of these mountains.
Start the day surrounded by stunning vistas then try and spot soaring condors as you walk this ancient trail being educated and entertained by local guides. Travel with Explorer Chicks on their Peru trip and you will benefit from a support team including porters and cooks. The altitude makes this adventure bucket list item quite literally breathtaking but it’s also said to be one of the most incredibly rewarding extreme bucket list ideas to complete.
Explore Galapagos Islands in Ecuador
Vibe: Kid-friendly, History, Outdoors
Location: The Galapagos archipelago is located about 1,000 km from continental Ecuador and is composed of 127 islands, islets and rocks and a few active volcanoes.
What to do here: Snorkel, swim, paddle board, sunbathe on sandy beaches, hike and bike and experience close encounters with some wacky and wonderful wildlife, some of which is exclusive to these remote islands.
You can marvel at Giant Tortoises, penguins and iguanas, both land and marine species. Yep. Swimming iguanas are a thing. These isles and the ocean and skies surrounding them are positively bristling with birds, animals, crabs, fish, sting rays and 30 species of sharks, including whale sharks, and so much more.
The Galapagos were discovered by accident in 1535 by the Bishop of Panama who was heading for Peru. British naturalist, geologist and biologist, Charles Darwin spent five weeks on the islands and later drew on his experiences to write his famous, ground-breaking book “Origin of Species”.
This destination is on my bucket list as it offers the chance to enjoy multiple sports on land and sea, a beach holiday and safari style animal encounters. I’d also REALLY like to tick “visit an active volcano” off my bucket list.
Join other bold women on the Explorer Chicks Ecuador trip for the ultimate experience including time in Ecuador’s capital city Quito, visits to a breeding center aiming to restore the waning tortoise population and the conservation center, Charles Darwin Station. Go snorkeling, kayaking and hiking and visit the national park. Stay in 4* boutique hotels and enjoy a cooking class with a local chef. What are you waiting for? Go, go, go!
Visit the Lost City of Petra in Jordan
Vibe: Kid-friendly, History, Art & Culture, Outdoors
Location: The iconic 2000+ year old city of Petra, also known as Rose City, is in Jordan in the Middle East.
What to do here: Channel your inner Indiana Jones for the best ever Instagram biopic with the ancient 45m-high Al Khazneh temple, carved into the pinky red mountain rock, behind you.
The exterior of this location is recognizable from the finale of: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” but there is so much more to see here.
Wander along canyons and through the labyrinth of tombs, temples, and public spaces deep in the sandstone cliffs absorbing the vibes of this historical site. Ride camels or enjoy adrenaline pumping hot air balloon ride over the desert. If you join the EC Jordan Petra trip you can also float in the Dead Sea, go hiking and glamping in an authentic Bedouin camp and scramble up to the spectacular Burdah Rock Bridge to take a bad ass selfie.
Go Glamping in the Jungles of Belize
Vibe: Kid-friendly, History, Art & Culture, Outdoors (rainforest, river, waterfalls)
Location: The Jungles of Belize are located in ‘Cayo’ District in Western Belize.
What to do here: The Belize rainforests are home to numerous exotic birds, incredible wildlife and offer ample opportunities for bucket list adventures from hiking to zip lining.
More than half of Belize’s land is covered by dense rainforest with over 50% protected by the Government. There are literally hundreds of species of tree, plants, birds and animals including some which are globally endangered. Marvel at towering mountains, incredible waterfalls and, wait for it, lost Maya cities believed to have been built over 1000 years ago!
Imagine zip lining 2.5 miles skimming just above the jungle canopy or cave diving to discover a hidden underwater world. Crazy ideas? Nah, just a few items off a list of adventure bucket list ideas for this amazing country.
Book onto the EC Belize trip and you can combine jungle adventures with watery fun AND go glamping on a remote island.
Climb the Glaciers in Iceland
Vibe: Kid-friendly, History, Art & Culture, Outdoors
Location: Most of the population of Iceland lives in the capital city, Reykjavik.
What to do here: Iceland is a dramatic land of hot springs, mountains, volcanoes, lava fields icebergs and glaciers and depending on when you visit you can hike across stunning countryside, wallow in hot springs, enjoy a host of snow-based activities and enjoy a whale watching trip to see humpback whales and other ocean dwellers.
If you are lucky you might see the famous aurora borealis, AKA the Northern Lights. At some times of the year you might never actually see the night sky as the “land of the midnight sun” doesn’t ever get completely dark at the height of summer.
Join other wannabe Vikings on the EC Iceland trip to explore the best of the Golden Circle. Try to decide which waterfall is the most spectacular, soak in geothermal hot springs and entertain yourself trying to pronounce Icelandic place names like Hveragerði. (Spoiler:it’s hver-ager-di)
Nearby Adventures We Love
- Hut-to-Hut hiking in Banff. Have a wild time in Canada with a backpacking bucket list adventure in the remote backwoods of Banff National Park. Be prepared to demonstrate just how badass you are on this strenuous hiking tour where you will need to be able to carry a 30lb pack for miles at high altitude. Temperatures range from a balmy 16F down to -11F with a high potential for snow in winter. June can be wet so be prepared.
- Hiking through Scotland. Most of Scotland is an unspoiled paradise bursting with history and those who visit can have fun in the great outdoors hiking with endless views of lochs (lakes) and Munro (mountains over 300 feet) then spend evenings relaxing in cozy pubs offering locally sourced comfort food and live music. Enjoy a scenic railway ride through the beautiful Cairngorms National Park.
- Did we forget to mention castles? You will actually get to stay in one! This trip starts in Edinburgh which is on a lot of people’s bucket lists trips. This trip is classed by EC as strenuous as you will be hiking up to 9 hours a day on rugged terrain, often at height. Take your rainwear and insect repellent – Scotland is known for tartan, haggis, rain, and midges.
- Explore Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain in Peru. Hands up if this destination is at the very top of your bucket list? This trip is jam packed with action with hiking, whitewater rafting and the chance to fly on a zip line across mountains and canyons. Upside down. Out of your comfort zone yet? Tick Machu Picchu off your bucket list with a trip to this historic and mysterious self contained secret city. You need to be fit for this one with lots of hiking at altitude. Weather is generally mild but there is a wet and dry season.
- Trek the Inca Trail in Peru. Be part of a small group of bold women for a challenging 4 day hike along the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate. Learn about Incan culture and history at a living Quechua village high in the mountains. For an additional bucket list adventure you can add an excursion to Rainbow Mountain. ( for a small extra cost)
Ready to go on an Adventure?
Feeling inspired to start ticking things off your bucket list now? Top of my bucket list right now is the Explorer Chick’s Jordan trip, with a fabulous itinerary which comes with the added attraction of being planned and executed by real life adventurers and explorers who can ensure you have a safe but spectacular adventure.
Meet the Writer
Afra is an award winning journalist who has enjoyed many adventures including swimming with sharks, crewing hot air balloons and canyoning. She started creating online content ten years ago, diversifying after years writing for print publications. She loves travel, great food, and her family. Not necessarily in that order.
Favorite outdoor adventure: Snorkeling in the warm waters off the coast of Cyprus
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