All over the globe are hidden gems, both natural and man-made, which can tempt the daredevil in each of us. Whether you’re a couch potato who prefers “travelling” by surfing the internet or a seasoned adventurer seeking out your 500th cliff walk, these super-precarious locations will inspire you to call your travel agent and book your tickets out of town for some in-person mega-sightseeing.
From soaring rock structures to constructed roads that run through a raging sea, these ten dangerous locations will have your pulse pounding and adrenaline rushing through your veins. Join us in exploring these fascinating, perilous locations.
Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, Africa
Like many natural wonders with precarious precipices and steep drops, this is one place you don’t want to go with someone who likes roughhousing. A tiny bump and you could be hurtling 360 feet down and landing on jagged rocks.
Still, adventurous travellers from all over the world eagerly jump into this pool, which sits overlooking a raging waterfall. The bravest among them pretend to “fly” by balancing halfway off the small wall that separates them from certain death.
Anzhaite Long-Span Suspension Bridge, China
If the thought of a low-hanging suspension bridge makes you nervous, this new structure in China will have you feeling like a goldfish in a shark tank. It’s the highest and longest suspension bridge in the world, soaring an anxiety-inducing 1,102 feet above the earth.
Merely viewing pictures of workers walking along its narrow beams with no protective gear is enough to induce dizziness, but if you just love heights, you may want to consider a trip across. The view of the mountain ranges on either side is truly spectacular.
It translates to “Atlantic Ocean Road” and it runs right through the Norwegian Sea. It’s difficult to think of anything more death-defying than speeding down its super-windy 5 mile length during a hurricane or when the weather is icy, but thrill seekers and auto manufacturers alike enjoy testing this road to its limits.
Plenty of car commercials have been filmed here, and many curious tourists tempt fate by braving the drive during hurricane season. To be on the safe side, you can get a heaping dose of natural splendour by driving the speed limit (55 mph) at low tide.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
Imagine the shock of explorer Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas in 1540 when he arrived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s a good thing he stopped walking in time; an unlucky 25 souls lose their lives every year at this world-famous spot. If you plan on going, someone may jokingly tell you “don’t fall in!” But really, don’t fall in.
It’s actually quite easy to see how someone could lose their footing on the edge of this glorious “wonder of the world.”
The terrain is rocky and there is surprisingly little protection near the edge. In fact, some spots have no bannister, guardrail or walking path at all around the perimeter. Once you behold the extreme beauty of the canyon, though, it’s worth the risk. Bonus tip: Keep small children and pets very close by at all times!
Trift Bridge, Switzerland
There’s something altogether frightening about suspension bridges that look as though they’re held up by dental floss, and this one is no exception. Intrepid hikers carefully make their way across its 560 feet so they can view the Trift Glacier.
It’s better than the earlier version, though. That bridge was built in 2004 and is described as “less safe” than the current construction, which was completed in 2009. We’ll take the current “safe” bridge, please, especially when it’s windy out.
Meteora Monasteries, Greece
This UNESCO World Heritage site is inspiring, awe-inducing and ever so slightly confusing. It consists of six monasteries used by ancient monks in the 9th century.
The structures are perched up to 1,200 feet in the air and in some cases; the walls are flush with the sides of the sandstone cliffs the buildings sit upon. How did the monks get up those steep walls? They were either pulled up with ropes or they built really long ladders. Imagine hauling groceries home if you lived there!
Yungas Road, Bolivia
Between 200-300 people unintentionally plunge to a horrifying death each year on this road, which is widely considered to be the most dangerous in the world. It wends its way along a very steep cliff, and its “shoulder” consists of a few mere inches of dirt separating travellers from the great hereafter.
The single lane road was constructed in 1930 and is a tiny 10 feet wide with no guardrail. If you ever decide to brave this route, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking scenery and wildlife sightings. Bonus Tip: If a squirrel happens to run in front of your car, don’t swerve!
Llangollen Canal, Wales
This rather unique canal, which runs in between England and Wales, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you get into one of its narrow metal boats, you’ll be floating 125 feet above the ground with what appears to be a sheer drop-off on either side. However, there is a small walkway which is popular with pedestrians out for a stroll.
If you sprain your ankle while you’re hiking up to the peak of this natural structure, you’ll be out of luck. There’s no cell phone reception here, and no park rangers.
When you get to the jutting rock for which this dangerous place is named (it translates to “Devil’s Tongue”) you can look down 2,200 feet onto the lake below.
If you need a rest along the way, there’s a six-bed cabin available, but don’t expect room service; this is a very “do-it-yourself” type of trip, and you must be in good shape before embarking on the trek.
Mount Hua Plank Walk, China
To some, walking on a tiny plank embedded on the side of a cliff seems like an extraordinarily bad idea. To more daring travellers, though, it seems like a routine Saturday afternoon.
The plank itself looks like it has been fashioned out of old picnic tables and a stapler, and is not wide enough to accommodate anyone overweight.
However, if you’re an experienced mountain climber with very solid safety equipment or have just recently retired from the circus as a tightrope walker, you’ll be fine.
So, which one of these dangerous spots gets your vote, and how would you approach your journey? The world is waiting to be discovered.
Isn’t it time you thought about taking a walk on the dangerous side?