Top Four Programs for Thrill Seekers
All Articles

Top Four Programs for Thrill Seekers

Adrenaline junkies can get their fill of adventure during several action-packed programs. In general, most of Rustic’s programs include adventure elements, but some take it to a different level. Here are four program options for thrill seekers:

Seven Wonders of Australia

Rustic Pathways got its start in the Land Down Under decades ago, so this is a nation where program leaders definitely know where to take teens. This particular program begins in Sydney, where students do a service project and have the option of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Then they fly to Uluru to view the famous monolith and take a sunrise camel walk. While in the desert, students have the option of skydiving. They also hike the rim of Kings Canyon and learn about Aboriginal culture.

Following time in the Outback, it’s time for a change of scenery. Teens hop on a plane to go see the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. They can snorkel or scuba dive amid the coral formations and cruise down the Daintree River to look for jungle wildlife. This is followed by a whitewater rafting trip.

If that doesn’t get the heart pumping enough, students have the option of bungee jumping 160 foot or enjoying the fastest jungle swing in the world.

Copyright: © 2016 Rustic Pathways

Pablo Ruiz Segura, who traveled with this program in 2017, said it was an unforgettable experience.

“For me this was the greatest trip,” Ruiz Segura said. “You get to see so much of Australia in a way I don’t think you would be able to by traveling on your own.”

Big Fiji Explorer

There are so many adventure opportunities on this trip, it is hard to keep track of them. Students spend time on the main island of Viti Levu, along with the Yasawa Islands and the Mamanuca Islands, where the movie Cast Away was filmed.

The students begin their adventure on Fiji’s main island, where they head down the Coral Coast, and students can snorkel or learn about traditional Fijian sailing techniques.

During this journey, students also zipline in the rainforest, hike through the Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve, tube on the Navua River, and swim at a local waterfall. Later, students visit the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, where they can sand slide.

Take a leap into island life—surf down sand dunes, relax on the beach, or soak in natural hot springs. Copyright: © 2015 Rustic Pathways

On Mamanuca Islands there’s more snorkeling, and students can watch the waves at Cloudbreak, a well-known surfing site.

On the Yasawa Islands they sleep in large safari tents and spend four days living without electricity. While there the students can snorkel again or kayak in the south Pacific, enjoying the exotic marine habitat. They also can add on a scuba dive if they want to see Fiji’s soft coral reefs.

Copyright: © 2016 Rustic Pathways

Towards the end of the program, they have an option of skydiving, and they visit hot pools and mud baths.

Gia Mariano, who traveled to Fiji in 2016, says her journeys made her more confident and bold.

“I was always encouraged to never be afraid and try everything,” Mariano said. “Rustic has given me lifelong skills and lifelong memories!”

Andes to Amazon – Peru (High School and College)

Students in this program hit the road to see the diverse landscapes of Peru. They enjoy  a visit to perhaps the most famous site in Peru –  Machu Picchu. But they also do so much more.

As the name suggests, students see both the Andes mountains and the Amazon jungle at the basin, which is the most diverse region of the jungle. Along the way, they get to white water raft, zipline, and rock climb, along with doing some community service.

Photo: Hayes Benenson

In addition, the students do some strenuous but memorable hikes. This includes hikes to glacial lakes and natural hot springs and through the jungle. Some of the students also visit an animal sanctuary.

“As we kept getting to know each other, adventuring Peru together made it so much better. We rock-climbed up the side of a mountain and ziplined down, we visited Machu Picchu, we hiked the Ausangate trek 15,000 feet in the air, and stayed at an Amazon animal conservation center,” Alumna Molly Caffry said. “I didn’t need to focus on anything other than being in the moment.”

Southeast Asian Adventurer – Thailand

Southeast Asia Regional Manager Keegan Kennedy says if he had to pick a program for thrill seekers in his region, this would be it. The trip starts with a journey north where students head to the Srisangwan waterfall where they can swim in limestone pools and hot springs. Then it’s time for whitewater rafting down the Mae Taeng River.

From there, the students switch gears and do a trek with elephants where they can stroll with these gentle giants and see how they live in their habitats. Then it’s back to heart-pumping fun with ziplining and river cruising.

Then comes one of the most unique aspects of this trip – what Kennedy considers the highlight – a visit to Krabi province where limestone karsts on the beach provide some of the best rock climbing options in the world. Students can try their hand at rock climbing in this breathtaking location.

Copyright: © 2016 Rustic Pathways

To enjoy the water, students take a longtail boat to a nearby island where they can snorkel and swim.

Ryan Barish who traveled with this program in 2019 said the trip was “nothing short of spectacular.”

“I was always the person who was afraid of heights and was not open to trying new things, but this trip indeed changed my outlook on life,” Barish said.

For more details on these and other heart-stopping adventures, please visit our program page.

About the Author

Mary Rogelstad

Lead Editor

Mary is the Lead Editor at Rustic Pathways. She has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. Prior to covering student travel, Mary created content for the music education company J.W. Pepper & Son. She also was a writer and producer at CNN International and a communications director for a social service agency and a K-12 private school.