Skydiving is an exhilarating endeavor, but jumping from the right location could mean the difference between a good experience and an out-of-this-life one.
No matter where you skydive from, it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Jumping out of a plane and plummeting toward the Earth in freefall is the definition of extreme adventure. Although we all can’t jump from space like Felix Baumgartner, there are a few choice skydiving locations you can visit to maximize the experience.
Here are the 5 best places to skydive in the world.
Victoria Falls, often referred to as, “the Smoke that Thunders,” is the place where the Zambezi meets a massive split in the Earth. It is among the more spectacular natural formations around, as the spray from the falls is so intense that it rises up from the base like rain racing back to the sky. Victoria Falls is so massive that it’s too much to take in from the ground. Fortunately, you can charter a plane and jump towards it from thousands of feet above its waters. This skydiving location is also nestled on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, not far from Botswana, so you have plenty of options for going on a safari after you land.
Interlaken is a hub for travelers and extreme athletes, and for good reason: it is gorgeous. It’s also extremely accessible and right at the doorstep of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau – three quintessential peaks in the Bernese Alps. Crash at the infamous Balmer’s Herberge, the oldest private hostel in Switzerland, and sate your adventurous appetite on the other sports offerings in the region. Bungee jumping, canyoneering, paragliding – they’re all at your fingertips in Europe’s most spectacular skydive setting.
For something slightly more local, head to the west coast for one of the best places to skydive on Earth. The Pacific coast is chock full of killer skydiving opportunities, including the highest available tandem jump in the United States. In Santa Barbara, you can climb to 18,000 feet and take in the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains for a solid minute and a half of freefall. There’s plenty of exploring and relaxing to be done once you’re back on the ground, as the camping and surfing around Santa Barbara are top notch, and the surf spots in California aren’t bad either.
Brazil is a massive country with some of the most interesting topography and top skydiving spots. Sao Paulo is easy to get to and spectacularly coastal. Additionally, Manaus is your gateway to viewing the Amazon from above and is exceptionally close to the equator. Just try not to land in the Amazon itself – that’s setting yourself up for a much different type of adventure. Lastly, Boituva has a thriving skydiving community and should definitely be on your list of destinations if you head to Brazil. When you’re done, complete your trip with a night at a local soccer match.
The last best place to skydive may be right in your backyard. Specifically, anywhere in Utah. Zion, Moab, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon – the brilliant red rocks of Utah make for a remarkable in-air experience. While you’re in Moab, check out the famous Dinosaur Tracks and use them to inspire you to think big and DO:MORE. When you’re done skydiving, wrap up your trip with a little mountain climbing. Many veteran climbers call Moab, Utah, an extreme sports paradise. Considering the legendary Finger of Fate resides in Moab, they aren’t too far off.
Know any other skydiving locations that are among the best in the world? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter.