As COVID measures continue to lift, people are on the hunt for the most adventurous countries of 2022 to let off a little extra steam.
Every year, U.S. News releases Best Countries rankings in various categories. This year, the Adventure subranking weighs an equal average of scores based on friendly, fun, good for tourism, pleasant climate, scenic and sexy categories.
Let’s take a look at their list of the Top 10 Most Adventurous Countries of 2022.
A lot of adventures in Brazil will take you to the great outdoors. If you’ve ever pictured the Amazon rainforest, you may have conjured up images of snakes and jaguars and poison dart frogs, oh my! The city of Manaus is the gateway into the Amazon, where visitors can take a boat along the Amazon River. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary river dolphins!
Outside of the nature element, many people head down to Brazil to visit Rio de Janeiro or São Paolo. Rio boasts the Christ the Redeemer statue that’s showcased all over the world, and the cities know how to party. From hang gliding to hiking to experiencing a forest unlike any other in the world, Brazil has an adventure laying around every corner. Ten minutes anywhere will show you why it’s the top spot in the most adventurous countries of 2022.
Fine, you caught me — my favorite food is Italian (and Chinese). Italy may be known for its stellar food and popularizing pasta (which, ironically, was made in China), but it’s also the second in the most adventurous countries of 2022. Boat rides down the river in Venice are only a fraction of what visitors can expect in this charming European country.
For starters, you can scuba dive to explore the underground city of Baia. Take a bike around ancient Rome. Hike the Dolomites. Maybe visit Naples and get a slice of pizza; that is where it was invented, after all. With food, fun, and adventure in every town and suburb, there’s never a shortage of adventure in Italy.
Right on the heels of Italy we find Spain, which has no shortage of extreme outdoor activities to thrill the adventure seeker. Those who want to skip the museums and villages might have a good time rafting at Sierra de Guara. Perhaps paragliding over Madrid with an epic view of the surrounding mountains sounds more up your alley. If you’re really on the hunt for some adrenaline, you can also do the Walkway of Death, which is situated about 325 feet above a gorge.
If you’re in Barcelona, you’ll find a huge bulk of adventurous activities to satiate your needs. There are adventure parks that cover zip lining, hiking, rock climbing, and more. The two most popular spots are Altitude Extrem and Catalunya en Miniatura. Either way, you’re bound to find something to prove Spain is worthy of its spot on the most adventurous countries of 2022.
Based on Greek mythology alone, it’s no shock that Greece is anywhere on the list for the most adventurous countries of 2022. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the 40 different mountain ranges to choose from when it comes to hiking, especially since 80% of the country is covered with them. Among the hikes includes Mount Olympus, the home of the 12 ancient gods. Crete is also the birthplace of the Minoan civilization, so an exploration in that corner of the world is sure to be eye-opening.
The turquoise waters in Greece make way for excellent sea activities, as well. From sailing around on a yacht to kayaking along the 11th longest coastline in the world, the ocean is your gateway for some awesome adventures. Other ideas include canyoning, skiing, and rock climbing.
Thailand draws people in from all over the world for its incredible beaches, uh-may-zing food and vibrant cities. It’s no surprise this is one of the most adventurous of 2022. From deep water soloing to free diving around the coral reefs, Thailand is an epicenter of exotic experiences that anyone thirsty for some adventure is sure to enjoy.
If scuba diving with whale sharks and white water rafting aren’t your jam, you can always consider an exploration of the “ghost tower” in the capital city of Bangkok. The Sathorn Unique Tower halted its construction in 1997 during an Asian economic crisis, and has sat in its unfinished glory ever since. Plus, Bangkok is a great place to explore all of Thailand’s unique culture in one of the most famous cities in the world.
6. New Zealand
You better believe New Zealand hits this list, especially since Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World. This country popularized bungee jumping and has some insane (and high) options on the table. There’s plenty that adventure seekers don’t want to miss in this charming little country at the bottom of the world. It’s not only one of the most adventurous countries of 2022, but one of the most adventurous of all time.
Plus, the scenery in this country… If you’ve seen Lord of the Rings, I need say no more. If you’ve ever thought of climbing a volcano, look into the Tongariro Crossing. This epic day-long hike takes you through two volcanos (one of which goes by the name “Mount Doom”) and is among one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. In fact, any of the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand should find somewhere on your itinerary when you go.
Portugal doesn’t always come to mind when you’re thinking of adventurous countries because of the history and culture. While many other European countries offer similar experiences, Portugal still holds its own as one of the most adventurous countries of 2022 next to its bordering sister, Spain. Jeep safaris and off-road buggy adventures should call out to the thrill seekers outside of any standard outdoor activity like hiking or swimming at the beach.
Portugal is also a great place to go swimming with some dolphins or taking a guided bike trip. You can mix a strong sense of history with adventure anywhere you look in this country. In the end, nothing can beat the natural scenery found on the hiking or biking adventures, and Portugal is also a great place to delve deep into some canyons.
Coming in eighth on the most adventurous countries of 2022 lands Australia. While Australia may not hold any “Adventure Capital of the World” accolades like its neighbor New Zealand, it still holds a lot of adventure for anyone willing to give it a go. It’s the more popular of the two countries, and people travel from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef. There’s plenty of outdoor activities and creatures you can only find down under, and they all provide something totally unique.
Many people don’t know that the bulk of the population lives on the East Coast of Australia, predominately Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The rest are mostly located in Perth on the West. In between is “the outback” that the country is most known for. With very few resources and gas stations, dangerous creatures, and rural communities, the outback can provide its own senses of adventure and danger. If you do choose to explore, you may be wise to do so on an accompanied tour.
As the years go by, Mexico becomes more and more of a must-visit destination. As it grows in popularity, it deserves to hold its place as one of the most adventurous countries of 2022. There’s no shortage of adventures in this Central American country. Those who have traveled into places like Puerto Vallarta know that paradise meets adventure in one of the country’s most popular cities. Cancun and Mexico City also attract a wide variety of travelers seeking some thrills while they’re on vacation.
However, if you want to take the adventure a little deeper, you could consider doing something like a deep sea cave dive or even climb a glacial volcano (yes, they do have those in Mexico.) It’s also a great country to find some rock climbing or even take a skydive. No matter what you do or where you go, just make sure you hit at least one taco stand. Or two. Or 20.
10. Costa Rica
Just the name “Costa Rica” sounds like an adventure. This tropical little country is definitely one of the most adventurous countries of 2022. This is a great place to learn how to surf, soak up some hot springs, or hike around on numerous waterfalls. Plus, it’s an awesome spot to learn about the indigenous Caribbean cultures.
Just like all the other places on this list, Costa Rica is perfect for zip lining, sky diving, canyoning, hiking, or anything else that gets you outside. You’re sure to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline pulsing out here. On the flip side, you may even consider zenning out and doing a yoga retreat or spa weekend instead. The choice, like the world, is yours.