Splitscreen: man (left) and woman (right) sitting on edge of cliff with red rocks in background.
Lee (left) and Kelly (right) while on a three day camping adventure in the Outback.
Photo Credit: Kelly Dunning / Global Goose

9 Adventure Travel Experiences to Take on with Your Partner

If Romance Isn’t Your Thing…

For some couples, vacation time means breakfast in bed, superior spa service, and white tablecloth dining. Others, though, prefer something a little more primal, a time where togetherness gets measured less in whispered sweet nothings and more in pulse-pounding experiences and sights rarely glimpsed by the human eye.

So take heart if you and your significant other prefer to cut your getaways with more than a little excitement! This list of  nine adventure vacations for couples is right up your alley.

Camping in the Outback in Australia

The Red Centre is the hot, dry heart of Australia and it is vast, strange and spectacular. During our Working Holiday in Australia, Lee and I did a three-day camping adventure in the Outback and it was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life.

We slept in swags beneath the stars and woke every morning before sunrise to hike the red rock canyons. We watched the sun come up over Uluru, marveled at the aboriginal artwork at the Uluru Cultural Centre, walked across a dried up salt lake and cooked damper (a homemade bread) over the open fire.

You may spot dingos, kangaroos and wild camels and you’ll have a chance to learn about the aboriginal people and their way of life, while exploring a surreal and beautiful desert landscape.

Splitscreen: woman (left) rappelling down a water fall and man (right) standing in a waist deep bubbling water.Kelly (left) and Lee (right) canyoning down waterfalls in Ecuador.Photo Credit: Kelly Dunning / Global Goose

Canyoning in Baños, Ecuador

Imagine yourself strapped into a hip harness, suspended over a roaring waterfall deep in the rainforests of Ecuador. You plant your feet on the wet rocks as the water rushes over your legs and slowly ease the rope through your hands as you rappel down into the waters of the Rio Blanco.

Canyoning, the art of abseiling down waterfalls, is a thrilling activity that you can experience in the town of Baños, Ecuador, only three and a half hours from the capital city of Quito. You don’t have to have any extreme sports experience and it’s also quite affordable.

A half-day canyoning experience, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and included transport, photos and equipment, cost me and my partner $30 USD per person.

Your instructor will teach you how to “move like a monkey” down the waterfall, with your knees bent and your legs spread wide. You’ll even be able to slide down a zipline and use one of the waterfalls as a water slide, splashing down into a deep pool at the end.

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A figure standing on a white expanse of ground with blue skies above.Kelly stands on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest salt flat in the world.Photo Credit: Kelly Dunning / Global Goose

4×4 Journey Across the Salar de Uyuni

Speaking of strange and surreal landscapes, you’ve never seen anything like the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. It will make you feel like you have somehow ended up on another planet.

The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, the site of an enormous saltwater lake from prehistoric times. When the waters of the lake dried up, the salt had nowhere to go and left behind the huge salt deserts.

The solid crust of salt is anywhere from several centimeters to a few meters thick and as flat and white as a blank sheet of paper.

One of the highlights of South America travel is taking a three-day/two-night tour across the Salar de Uyuni in a 4×4, starting in Southern Bolivia and ending up in Northern Chile, or vice versa. It’s an action-packed journey that involves staying at a hotel made of salt in the desert, hiking through a strange landscape of yellow grass, red lake and purplish mountains and bathing in a geothermal pool.

You can also take some pretty crazy forced perspective photos in this other-worldly landscape, which is a lot of fun.

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