7 Bucket-List Adventures That Could Wreak Havoc on Your Premiums

When visiting another country, some tourists enjoy visiting great museums, sampling local delicacies, and attempting to communicate in a new language. Then there are tourists who prefer to be chased, trampled, and occasionally gored by a herd of bulls. Saturday is the final day of Pamplona’s Fiesta of San Fermin, a festival that dates back to medieval times and celebrates the life of Saint Fermin, who was either beheaded by the French or dragged to death by bulls. Each year, hundreds of tourists are seriously injured or even killed in the festival’s running of the bulls. If museums bore you, and you prefer to live life dangerously, there are certainly plenty of exotic activities waiting for you. Here are seven that range from the stupid to the silly to the truly bizarre.

  1. BASE jumping into Mexico’s Cave of Swallows:

    If rock climbing or vertical caving (also known as vertical spelunking) doesn’t get your blood pumping, then consider instead jumping more than 1,200 feet into the dark pit that is Mexico’s vertical Cave of Swallows, saving yourself from certain death with a well-timed pull of a parachute cord. The acronym “BASE” refers to the categories of objects BASE jumping enthusiasts are happy to dive off of, including buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs). The Cave of Swallows is a destination of choice for BASE jumpers. The cave is also home to lots and lots of birds, including various parrots and relatives of the swallow — which means in addition to the stench of fear from free-falling jumpers, visitors can savor the odors of several kinds of bird excrement.

  2. Volcano boarding in Nicaragua:

    Still going strong since its invention in 2005, volcano boarding is exactly what it sounds like, surfing down Nicaragua’s active Cerro Negro volcano at speeds of 50 mph on a specially designed surf board. Goggles, knee-pads, and protective clothing are worn to help make this sport relatively safe, so long as you can hang on to your board, don’t mind being sprayed with dirt and rocks, and the volcano doesn’t decide to erupt.

  3. Cliff diving in Hawaii:

    Cliff diving is beautiful to watch, but more difficult to execute than you may realize. The height of the jump and the speed with which you hit the water are potentials for serious injury. Cliff diving is also sometimes grimly referred to as “tombstoning” since each year, many people are injured or die from diving without taking the necessary safety precautions. The sport was born out of a legendary leap the king of Maui took in 1770 off the cliffs of Kaunolu, on the Hawaiian island of Lana’l. The king’s leap was so awe-inspiring (we guess he must have insisted everyone nearby gather to watch it) that soon he required that his warriors prove their bravery and loyalty by making the same jump. Cannonballs were strictly forbidden.

  4. Limbo skating in India:

    Actually, as far as we know, no tourists do this crazy sport; just this skinny, but really strong kid named Rohan Ajit Kokane. Rohan was apparently inspired after seeing a girl skate beneath a car, and decided to condition himself to skate under not just one, but several vehicles at a time. It goes without saying that if, while traveling in Asia, you attempt to limbo skate under a car, you will be horribly injured, and your insurance company will (justifiably) laugh at you when you try to file a claim. Since setting the world record for the farthest distance limbo skating, we hope Rohan has moved on to safer physical activities, like volcano boarding or cliff diving.

  5. Drop ecstasy in Ibiza:

    We bring this up because for some of you, your “bucket list” no doubt includes a walk or two on the wild side, and what’s wilder than blowing a ton of cash to fly to Ibiza, live out some hallucinatory fantasy of debauchery, and dance yourself ragged to crappy techno music? While research has pointed to some positive benefits of the use of MDMA or ecstasy in a controlled environment, most notably in treating victims of post traumatic stress disorder, medical experts agree that the drug is far from benign, causing nausea, chills, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, and even heart and kidney failure. Health warnings you get from fellow ecstasy users and dealers will always be a wee bit skewed, so use your head when you travel. Stay away from illegal drug use. There’s no greater buzz kill than having a seizure, getting CPR, and then waking up in a jail cell.

  6. Zorbing in New Zealand:

    Now this looks awesome. Silly, not that dangerous, and invented in New Zealand, zorbing involves inserting yourself into a giant plastic ball and then, while either secured in a harness or sitting unharnessed in water, rolled down a hill. Peter Gabriel has used a zorb to great effect when performing live, bouncing up and down in time while performing his song “Growing Up.” Imagine being in utero but being able to scream your head off, and you have some idea of what zorbing is like.

  7. Rap jumping in Melbourne:

    Finally we have rap jumping, invented by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. In Melbourne, tourists can enjoy the sensation of clinging to a rope (while safely secured and spotted of course) and walking down the side of a several story building. Oh, and by the way, you walk down the building face first! Believe it or not, this is actually the safest activity on this list, so long as it’s done under the supervision of a qualified, certified instructor.