Most people are perfectly content with doing something relaxing on their vacation. Like sipping mai tais at a beach bar or getting chummy with Goofy at Disneyland. But not everyone’s into wiling away their time with a good book. Adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers the world over are constantly on the lookout for their next big trip into lands unknown. Whether it’s bungee jumping into an active volcano, or swimming with some of the deadliest predators on the planet. There’s no shortage of options. So in order to help thrill-seeking tourists find their next thrilling destination, here’s a list compiled with some of the most dangerous natural places in the world. That people can actually visit, of course.
Most Dangerous Natural Places to Visit
Devil’s Pool, Zambia
Not every pool (or in this case river) is safe to swim in, but that hasn’t stopped thrill-seekers from taking their chance. During the dry season, Victoria Falls’ rapids slow down, and the water level drops considerably. All of that reveals the waterfall version of an infinity pool at the falls’ very edge.
The Devil’s Pool is only visible during mid-August to mid-January (most years). But it’s still extremely dangerous with water rushing down to the 354 ft (108m) drop below. Those looking to get that Instagram-worthy snap of themselves chilling at the edge of a waterfall should ask a guide about it first.
Skellig Michael, Ireland
Ireland has many enthralling locales full of natural beauty, but few are as remote as Skellig Michael off its Southern coast. This rocky outcropping was home to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars for a while, propelling it into an enviable tourist spot. But that doesn’t make it a safe one.
From 1000-year-old timeworn steps up the side of the cliff to choppy waters and falling boulders – this island is no stranger to death.
Danakil Desert, Ethiopia
If the extremely hot temperatures topping 120 °F (50 °C) aren’t harsh enough, then the toxic gasses and active volcanoes should seal the deal. Deserts are generally inhospitable as they are, but this one ratchets it up to a whole new level.
People can only visit certain areas of the Danakil Desert, which sits at the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, for short amounts of time. Going into the wrong areas or staying longer than the allotted time will result in death due to the poisonous gasses. No one is allowed in without a guide.
Running of the Bulls, Spain
Pamplona is a beautiful city in Northern Spain with breathtaking architecture and gothic-style churches. However, most people who visit this city don’t go there to admire the view. They go for the Running of the Bulls.
Every year the streets of Pamplona are opened up to hundreds of runners backed by a flurry of enraged bulls. A lot of people get injured during the Running of the Bulls each year, either due to trampling from fellow runners or goring by the bulls.
The Black Cat Trail, Papua New Guinea
Stretching from the Northern to the Southern border of Papua New Guinea, the Black Cat trail makes for one fierce trek. Crossing some of the toughest terrains in the world, this 36-mile (58km) track was first created back in World War 2. Those who trek this trail need not only think about dangerous river crossings, but also about live bombs and other leftovers of war. Not to mention mobs from the jungle.
Trift Bridge, Switzerland
This steel and wood bridge was modeled after the three-rope bridges crafted by the Nepalese. It’s actually safer than it looks, at 300 feet (91m) up in the air. But crossing this 560-foot (170m) suspension bridge is still no little feat, even for courageous adrenaline seekers.
Hawaii’s Active Volcanoes
When people think of Hawaii and extreme sports, most turn to surfing or swimming with sharks. But the four active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii offer a stunning, if dangerous, alternative.
Tourists can choose to hike or bike up these volcanoes, though there have been injuries and deaths in both cases. Some of the biggest dangers include flying rocks, slippery tracks, lava haze, and unprepared travelers.
Many new experiences await those who seek them. However, always keep in mind that there’s a difference between bravery and recklessness. Don’t take on any of these adventures without planning ahead and being prepared.