Solo travel gives you the ultimate freedom. You get to travel where you want, when you want and how you want, and no one is there to stop you! For that reason, many would argue that adventure travel is best done solo—all you have to do is pick the destination.
Don’t know where to go? Try one of the four countries listed below. In our opinion, they are the best places to travel solo.
Some people would argue that adventure travel started in Costa Rica—and for that reason, this adventurous country is first on our list of the best places to travel solo. With its verdant hills, mountainous countryside, iconic volcano and outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, canopy tours, surfing, swimming, snorkeling and more, it’s the eco-traveler’s dream come true. Offering a little something for everyone, finish your adventurous day outdoors by steeping your body in Costa Rica’s healing thermal springs. Sitting right in the middle of the rainforest, at the foot of the Arenal volcano, it’s the perfect way to relax and reflect on your day spent adventuring solo.
With its jaw-dropping landscapes, beautiful beaches, vast national parks and exotic wildlife, New Zealand is an adventurer’s paradise. Start in thrilling Queenstown, home to a natural theme park with rides and attractions designed to help you conquer your fears, and you can do everything from snow skiing, hang gliding, river boarding and river surfing, to cave tubing, horseback riding, jet boating, fly-fishing or even a Jeep “Lord of the Rings” tour through Middle-earth. As for the rest of the country, cruise through Fiordland National Park, and peeking out of its sharp rocks and towering fjords, you can catch a glimpse of indigenous New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins. Missing the water? Go whale watching on the South Island’s east coast or heli-fishing on Mount Creighton. Of course, glaciers should never be missed—so take a half-day hike on Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, both of which are right off the Tasman Sea.
Bridging North and South America, narrow Panamá is a mecca of tropical landscapes. Filled with flowing rivers, lush jungles and national park after national park (they make up 40% of the country!), there are endless places to bike, hike, kayak, zipline and more. And while you adventure, don’t miss the country’s fairytale-like views. It’s filled with unspoiled white-sand beaches, colorful rainforests, misty cloud forests, and of course, the largest ships you’ve ever seen crossing the famous Panama Canal.
Iceland isn’t what you think of when you picture a far off island. For one thing, it’s cold. And yet, despite its ice caps and glacier lagoons, it still has active volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. All that combined, Iceland is magical. Head to Fjallabak, a region devoid of residents, and as you trek, go mountain climbing or bike your way around it, you’ll feel like you have the whole country to yourself. Craving a little adventure on the water? Go whale watching, swim under towering waterfalls or go to Reykjavik, where you’ll find the iconic, geothermally-heated Blue Lagoon swimming pool. Do just one of those and you’ll instantly understand why we think Iceland is one of the best places to travel solo.