Do you love getting an adrenaline rush? There are so many adventurers who do that an entire sub-category of traveling has developed: extreme tourism. Also known as "shock tourism," travelers go to the most dangerous areas around the world and try out the most death-defying stunts, all for the thrill of it.
Whether its mountains or volcanoes, cliff diving or cage diving, there are people out there that want to try it even with knowledge of the harmful conditions and repeated warnings from others against making the trek. Here are ten of the most dangerous trips extreme tourists risk their life for.
10 Cave of Swallows - Mexico
The Cave of Swallows in San Luis Potosi, Mexico is the largest known cave shaft in the world. It's also potentially the 11th deepest pit in the entire world. Normally, many people are wary of this ginormous hole around 160 to 205 feet wide that goes 1,220 feet straight down.
Others, however, find this hole that could literally fit the Eiffel Tower inside it as the perfect location for BASE jumping. It takes about ten seconds for jumpers with their parachutes to go from the top of the hole to the very bottom—meaning any mistake resulting in a hard landing could also result in a quick, destructive death.
9 Sistema Sac Actun - Riviera, Mexico
If a cave wasn't scary enough, let's put it underwater! Setting the record as the longest underwater cave ever discovered on Earth, it goes as far as 350 kilometers in, has an average depth of 21 meters, and has a maximum depth of 120 meters.
Oh, and there have been hundreds of roof collapse situations over time. Sounds like the perfect place for a tour, right? The various roof collapses have resulted in hundreds of cenotes, which aren't as dangerous to explore, but others opt to go deeper—without a professional.
8 Death Road - Bolivia
The Road of Death, or North Yungas Road, is not the place to take a peaceful bike ride. While more safety precautions have been put in place nowadays, it was once—and sometimes still is—known as the most dangerous road in the world.
With constant fog, landslides, cascades, and cliffs that drop 2,000 feet, it's no surprise that 300 drivers were killed there annually until 1994. Especially since the road itself is only 10 feet wide! There are now bike tours for extreme tourists, and so far over a dozen cyclists have died over the past decade.
7 Mount Hua - China
Climbing up this mountain has been regarded as one of the most dangerous hikes in the world, so of course, that's the perfect bait for extreme tourists. Many opt to go on the "Plank Trail," which is rumored to cause 100 deaths per year.
The "Plank Road" bridge sees hikers climbing to the next peak by walking across a 0.3 meter (0.98 ft.) wide plank path that's built along the side of a vertical cliff. Even when using a different path and not opting to use the ridiculously risky plank, many still lose their footing anyway and fall to their deaths.
6 Devil's Pool - Zambia & Zimbabwe
The Devil's Pool gives you a beautiful view, but at what cost? Thousands of years of erosion have led to various rock pools at the top Victoria Falls. One of these rock pools happens to be at the very edge of the waterfall, almost hanging downward.
So naturally, many people have tried to hang onto those rocks and looks over. With heavy enough water and a slip of the finger, you could plunge over the waterfall and die. Even so, there are guides who will accompany you to the Devil's Pool if you still wish to give it a try.
5 Cage of Death - Australia
Of course it's Australia who is offering tourists the opportunity to enter something called the "Cage of Death"! The Cage of Death is a clear box that's made of merely 4 centimeters of acrylic. You enter it and are lowered into the water, where you'll get to see the most aggressive of crocodiles—and there are no bars like there are on the cages for when you go shark diving!
Tourists report literally being able to see tooth scratches from where the crocodiles have tried to latch on. If this still sounds appealing to you, you're welcome to try it at Crocosaurus Cove.
4 Preikestolen - Norway
Once again, there are some BASE jumpers who just can't help themselves! Preikestolen—also referred to as The Pulpit, Preacher's Chair, or Pulpit Rock—is considered the most dangerous cliff out of all of the beautiful cliffs in Norway.
This steep cliff rises 1,982 feet above the water, and there are, of course, some occasional fatalities. This is to be expected when you try as an extreme of a sport as BASE jumping, but others have died merely trying to take a picture too close to the edge. Use caution if you visit this destination!
3 Iguazu Falls- Argentina & Brazil
The Iguazu Cataracts is basically a giant version of Niagara Falls. There are a total of 275 waterfalls within it, and, as a whole. Iguazu is taller and twice as wide as Niagara. You can go on boat tours throughout the falls for a pretty decent price, and while many have enjoyed their experience, there is always a risk.
For instance, two tourists from the United States died when their boat flipped over in 2011. The waters in the falls are heavy and rough, and boat tours should be boarded with discretion.
2 Villarrica Volcano - Chile
Bungee jumping is risky. Volcanoes are dangerous. So why not combine the two? Yep, tourists who travel to Pucon, Chile have the opportunity to bungee jump into an active volcano. This option comes as a part of an extreme tourist package that also includes waterfall bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, and skydiving as part of the itinerary.
Hurtling head-first towards a giant pit of bubbling, flaming lava doesn't sound too much fun to us, but to each their own! And hey, if you survive it, you have an unbelievable story to tell at parties.
1 El Caminito Del Rey - Spain
Known in English as "The King's Little Path," this walkway goes across a super narrow canyon that extreme tourists love to try. Although the walkway was originally created in 1905 as a way for workers to travel between two hydroelectric power plants, it has since become best known as a tourist attraction, especially for the tourists who like taking risks.
After all, El Caminito Del Rey once held the title as "The World's Most Dangerous Walkway" after five people died within the years 1999 and 2000. It was closed down for a bit following the controversy, but was re-opened to the public in 2015.