The 50 Top Travel Experiences to Have Before You Die (1-10)

LAST UPDATED: 6/14/23 – Top Travel Experiences 1-10

We all have our bucket lists of places that we want to see and things that we want to do before we die.  If you are like me, your list keeps on getting longer instead of shorter regardless of how often we travel.  It seems like every beautiful place that I see or fun adventure that I hear about makes its way onto my ever-growing bucket list.  This is why I love to browse travel magazines, look thru travel photographs on Instagram and Pinterest, and read travel blogs.

Top Travel Experiences

If you are looking for some new destinations and new experiences to add to your bucket list, then you have come to the right place.  I have been compiling a list of great travel experiences to do before you die for quite some time now and I would like to share the top 50 items on that list with you.  In this installment, I am going to review experiences 1-10 on my list of the Top 50 experiences to have before you die.

If you have a travel experience on your list that didn’t make it onto my list, please let me know about it in the comments section.  Not only would I be excited to hear about it, but I am sure that other travelers reading this would appreciate hearing about it as well.

10.  Trek the Amazon Rainforest

Top Travel Experiences - The Amazon Rain Forest

There are few places on Earth that stimulate the imagination as much as the Amazon Rainforest of South America.  This gigantic rainforest covers over 2.1 million square miles and is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, which makes it one of this world’s ultimate wildlife viewing destinations.  Taking a boat down the Amazon river and exploring the rainforest it intersects would be the adventure of a lifetime and is worthy of being on any serious traveler’s bucket list.

9.  See the Taj Mahal at Sunrise

Top Travel Experiences - See the Taj Mahal at Sunrise

What better place to watch an amazing sunset than over one of this world’s most beautiful monuments.  The Taj Mahal, which was constructed beginning in 1632 as a tribute to Shah Jahan’s third wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child, is visited by over seven million tourists a year.  Over twenty-eight different types of precious jewels are used in the decoration of this beautiful marble monument.

One of the most beautiful times to visit the Taj Mahal is around sunrise.  With the sun coming up over the beautiful marble of the monument, the color will absolutely blow your mind.  I would certainly rank seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise as one of the top travel experiences that I think all travelers should have in their lifetime.

8.  See the Great Pyramids of Giza at Sunset

Top Travel Experiences - Pyramids of Giza at Sunset

This wouldn’t be a proper top travel experiences list if I didn’t mention one of the most popular tourist locations on Earth.  Yes, the Great Pyramids of Giza are a well-known tourist destination.  However, there is a really good reason why they are such a well-known tourist destination.  They are one of this world’s greatest, and oldest, engineering marvels.  The Great Pyramid was built between 2560 and 2540 BCE for the great Pharaoh Khufu and was the tallest structure on Earth for thousands of years after being built.

One of the most magical times to see the pyramids is at sunset.  It is quite a spectacular view to see the sun setting behind these spectacular structures.  If you are looking for an amazing travel experience, it is really tough to beat seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza at sunset.  Every traveler should have this on their list of travel experiences to have before they die.

7.  Explore the Galápagos Islands

Top Travel Experiences - Explore the Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands is a dream destination of mine that I was finally able to cross off my bucket list last year.  As one of the premier wildlife destinations in the world to travel to, the Galápagos attract animal lovers from around the globe each year.  After all, nowhere else in the world are you able to see penguins at the equator.  If you are thinking about taking a trip to the Galápagos, I would start by reviewing my Everything You Need to Know to Visit the Galápagos Islands Guide to get you started.

6.  Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Top Travel Experiences - Hike to Machu Picchu

Hiking to Machu Picchu is a travel adventure that I was lucky enough to cross off my bucket list just last year, and I am still in utter amazement about how breathtakingly beautiful this site is.  It’s hard to imagine that this site all but disappeared for nearly 500 years, only to be rediscovered in 1911.  You really aren’t able to comprehend the beauty and majesty of Machu Picchu until you see it with your own eyes.  If you are thinking about crossing a trek to Machu Picchu off of your bucket list, I would suggest you start by reviewing my Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail.

5.  Walk the Great Wall of China

Top Travel Experiences - Walk the Great Wall of China

As one of this planet’s “wonders of the world”, the Great Wall of China probably doesn’t need much of an introduction.  This absolute marvel of engineering almost speaks for itself.  When putting together a list of the Top Travel Adventures in the world, it is almost impossible then to not mention the Great Wall.  At over 13,170 miles long, there is a lot of the wall to explore.  So the next time you are looking for an amazing travel experience to plan, keep a walk on the Great Wall of China in mind.

4.  Dive the Great Barrier Reef

Top Travel Experiences - Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef

This is an adventure that I will be lucky enough to cross off my list later this year.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to dive in one of the world’s most infamous reefs.  The amount of marine wildlife that lives in the Great Barrier Reef is mind-blowing, which is why it is one of this world’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations.  As much as 10% of the world’s fish population, in addition to a plethora of other marine wildlife, calls the Great Barrier Reef it’s home.  This is why diving in the Great Barrier Reef has made its way onto my top travel experiences to have before you die list.

3.  Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal

Top Travel Experiences - Hike to the Mount Everest Base Camp

I have touched on some absolutely epic landscapes in my list of the top 50 travel experiences to have before you die, but when it comes to epic landscapes, it is hard to imagine one being more epic than the tallest mountain in the world.  Mount Everest is so high that its summit is at the cruising altitude for jet airliners.  At 29,029 feet tall, this mountain dwarfs anything else on Earth in terms of height.

While climbing Mount Everest is a feat that most of us can’t ever see us being able to accomplish, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the majesty of this special place.  Hiking to the base camp, which is the lowest altitude camp that climbers use when ascending Mount Everest, is an accomplishment in-and-of-itself and allows travelers to get a great view of the mountain and see first-hand how special this place is.  However, if you want to make the hike you will need to do it from the Nepalese side because China has recently closed the Tibetan side to tourists because of a problem with the trash that has been left behind.

The roughly 80-mile hike from Kathmandu to the base camp of Mount Everest typically takes around 12-days to complete.  You will spend roughly 9 days hiking up to the camp and then 3-days hiking back.  While getting to the camp and seeing Mount Everest is the ultimate goal, you will be treated to absolutely breathtaking scenery along the way.  No list of the ultimate travel experiences a traveler can have before they die is complete without a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp on it.

2.  See the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti

Top Travel Experiences - See the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti

I was lucky enough to cross this item off my list a few years back, and boy did this adventure live up to expectations.  There are few wildlife adventures out there that come close to matching the wildebeest migration on the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masaai Mara in Keyna.  Each year, roughly 1.5 million wildebeest, along with roughly 200,000 zebra and a host of antelope species, make the loop between the Serengeti and the Masaai Mara to follow the rains. It is truly an event that you have to see to appreciate.   If you would like to cross this item off your bucket list, I would suggest you start by reading my Serengeti National Park Safari Guide to get you started.

1.  Take a Cruise to Antarctica

Top Travel Experiences - Take a Cruise in Antarctica

The top place on my travel bucket list for some time has been a trip to Antarctica, and for good reason.  The seventh continent is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  It certainly is one of the wildest and the driest.  In fact, most people don’t realize that it receives so little precipitation that it is actually classified as a desert.  With a chance to see icebergs as big as skyscrapers and observe some of the highest concentrations of marine wildlife in the world, taking an Antarctic cruise is well-deserving of being in the top spot in my top travel experiences to have before you die.

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  1. Great destinations! Thanks for making my travel list longer again😉

  2. I’ve walked the great wall and it is fantastic! Great list.

  3. Great blog. Nice to see you crossing so many off your list

  4. A great series of posts. I have one piece of advice for you: you’d better live to at least 100 so you can get it all in! 🙂

  5. Wow Josh, I’m surprised that being perpetual travelers, that the only place we’ve been to on your list is the Amazon, when we were living in Ecuador. You’ve inspired me to add some more places to my bucket list. Thanks for a great post!

    • Thank you for the kind words Christina! I still need to get to quite a few of these places too. That is awesome that you got to see the Amazon! I was in Ecuador last year, but only had time to see Quito and the Galapagos. I will need to go back 😀

  6. Yes! Antarctica and Everest Base Camp are near the top of my list too!

  7. Great finish to the series and you’ve included some incredible places. I’ve yet to do any of the ten so hopefully I can tick at least a couple of them off in the next year or two 🙂

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