Aside from meeting new people, finding the world’s most epic adventures is the best part of travelling. If you’re solo travelling, booking a tour or organised activity can be a great way to meet other backpackers at your hostel and beyond with a similar taste for fun! Joining a tour group can take the pressure off planning, help you connect respectfully and safely with local culture and wildlife, and keep you safe while you explore.
Sure, there are the Everest Basecamps and the Machu Picchus of the world, but what’s also REALLY fun is exploring the destinations you don’t always hear about. Seeking out unusual places or booking with companies in the know can be a great way to dodge crowds and find unexplored gems. Read below for 5 lesser-known adventure recommendations that will guarantee your most extraordinary trip yet.
Find sanity in silence
Life can get a bit overwhelming, right? Whether you’re at the start of your travels and are looking to shake off the 9-5, or you’ve been on a whirlwind trail of party hostels, concrete jungles and beach parties, a little bit of headspace could be just what you need to centre yourself. Silent meditation retreats can be found dotted around Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, India and many other backpacker-friendly countries. Ranging from 3-30 days and beyond, these retreats have been known to change lives…If you can keep quiet, that is!
Head out for a different dive
Coral reefs are beautiful diving spots, but if you want to venture into the big blue for a once in a lifetime experience, head to Malapascua Island in The Philippines for some shark action. This tiny island to the north of Cebu is home to thresher sharks, who head there for a daily scrub down from local cleaning wrasse fish. Macro divers also flock to the island for the colourful mandarin fish, seahorses and blue ring octopi. A PADI license is a must, but stay for a little longer and you can get your accreditation on the island. It’s a diver’s paradise!
Have a jaunt in the jungle
Ever wanted to see orangutans in their natural habitat? Bornean rainforest deforestation means they’re becoming increasingly rare, but if you want to spot them in their treetop homes head to the Kinabatangan River in Sabah. Here, you can stay in huts along the water and head out on daily river safaris to try and spy their fuzzy orange heads up in the rainforest canopy. You can also go on night-time treks to search for snakes, spiders and even slow loris’! Don’t forget your mosquito net…
Catch a fortress sunset
The world’s best sunset is something travellers have been searching for since the dawn of time. The Balkans are growing in popularity as a backpacker destination due to their budget-friendly prices, and Montenegro is a top stop. Built in the 19th century, Fort Gorazda in Kotor is home to the best Balkan sunset scape for miles around. No tourists, no expensive cocktail bars, just chilled vibes and a magical view. Bring some beers, play cards with your new hostel pals and watch the sun sink behind the bay of Kotor.
Get the Roamies experience
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choice — the world is a BIG place, after all — why not book one of our Roamies tours! Offering packages in locations all over the world, each Roamies tour will set you up with lesser-known adventures, awesome local tour guides and the best hostels to boot.
Want to hear more?
Emily and Rachel of the Gap Year Diaries Podcast cover all this and more with their guests in Gap Year Diaries x Hostelworld podcast episode 2: Epic Tours and Activities. It’s available to download now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you usually listen.